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Анализ отрывка из произведения «Трое в лодке, не считая собаки» Джером К. Джером «We came in sight of Reading about eleven...» (Английская Литература)
The text I am going to analyze is an extract from the novel «Three men in the boat» by Jerome K. Jerome. Since I’ve not read this novel before, unfortunately, I cannot suppose what is the main message of the story.
ut if we take into account only the given extract I believe that the topic of it is hidden in the tragedy of the woman whose body has been found floating upon the river. This short story is represented here to show what a strong influence society has on private life. The woman was abandoned almost by everyone because of the mistake she had made. I am sure that the speaker knows about her as little as her surrenders did but they were cruel enough to «cancel» her. This problem is similar to the one which is commonly known as «cancel culture» which means a situation when a person is being ignorant in his immediate or professional circles because he has done something wrong.
The text presents a narration told by a protagonist inside the story with a short exposition at the beginning that introduces reading and his history to a speaker.
There are also a few inserts of dialogues between the narrator and his mates. The interesting feature is that the composition of the story is the framed one because the extract contains two separate stories: the leading one which frames the second one, the old vulgar tragedy.
ig pieces of text are devoted to the description of nature which plays a great role in the reader’s correct perception of the happening.
The story takes place somewhere near reading, a town in berkshire in the South East of England. Certainly, both the time and the place seem to be unique for me, but they might have been ordinary for the character of the book and people who lived during this period. That’s why the plot cannot take place equally well in some other time or place because the plot represents the peculiarities of the lifestyle and thinking of people of the distinct century.
The teller and his fellows came in sight of
eading about eleven. Then there goes an insert of the history of the town with its bloody fights and shady secrets. Then when the narrator turns to the present, their boat is being towed up. He complains about the bags of the smaller boat floating upon the river which slow down them. His friend’s launch casts them loose just below the grotto where his turn to row comes though actually, it doesn’t. Then they come across the dead body of a woman whose story awes with fear. Here there goes the retelling of the old tragedy which has led to such a dramatic end. This woman fell in love but then she has been deceived. She sinned that’s why the social disapproval covered her from her head to thumbs. Her friends and relatives have closed their doors against her being afraid of a reputation crash. When after a short while of living on 12 shillings a week she gets worn out she gives up. She buys a ticket to Goring where she threw herself at the mercy of the river which takes away both her grief and joy. The speaker and his friend take up at Streatley.
The structure of the text can be named «a story in a story» that’s why I believe that it would be a mistake to try to divide it into parts just because they cannot exist separately. Unfortunately, I am not an expert on literature but if I were I would consider this extract as a double story and title them, accordingly, «A journey to Streatley» and «A millstone of shame». I guess there is no need to explain my choice for the first one. Speaking about «A millstone of shame», I’ve had a try to reflect the reason for the woman’s death through the title. It is rather metaphorical because there is an implicit similarity between the society and the stone. Both these subjects are the reasons why she went down.
The key mood of the extract is not homogeneous at all. The mood of each paragraph influences the author’s choice of stylistic devices which are also varied. A few initial paragraphs immerse us into the history of
eading and its neighbours. Among the stylistic devices used here, I’d emphasize the epithet «dim days» which gives a sense of something unapproachable hidden behind the thin curtains of centuries. There is also an ellipses («…Ethelred doing the praying and Alfred the fighting. »). I suppose the author turns to it to show how the great historical personalities unite their force to defeat the rival. The next device is metonymy («…the Law followed suit…») which is used to intensify the irony of the situation when for a criminal there is a possibility to hide from the government which is also hiding in reading from a mere ordinary plague. Here the narrator turns to the present. Here we see him annoyed by the small boats that slow their boat down. His annoyance is expressed through hyperbole («You can whistle till you nearly burst your boiler. . ») which tells us that he is about to bring his warns into action. This lexical stylistic device is also used to increase the ironical effect of the whole sentence. A few paragraphs is a turning point that turns how narration goes upside down. The sentence «It was the dead body of a woman. » is a climax that is preceded by the rising actions. From this moment the key mood changes from the ironical to a minor one. There are two stylistic devices used to make the description of the corpse more lively. The metaphor («its stamp of pinch and poverty») bears the idea that a harsh poor life leaves its stamps on a person’s appearance. Through the simile («upon it was that look of restful peace that comes to the faces of the sick sometimes when at last the pain has left them. ») the mouthpiece shows how calm the face of the dead woman was as though the death brought her more joy and peace than her life. Another strong device in this part is the personification («And the old river had taken her into its gentle arms, and had laid her weary head upon its bosom, and had hushed away the pain. ») of the river that creates quite a contradictory situation – her ‘killer’ was the one who rescued her. There are also two bright epithets opposite in sense which are used in one paragraph: «the bitterest thoughts» and «sunny memories». They prove that though her life was not easy, some lovely moments brought her desire to live back. The extract ends with a joke that is presumably aimed at reduction of the stress. To sum up, I’d like to underline that this passage contains two opposite moods – humorous and minor ones. Now I want to say a word of honour to Jerome K. Jerome who dared to mix these things because he made it brilliantly.
We are not introduced to the characters. The only thing we know about them is their names – Montmorency, George and Harris. The name of the speaker is unknown. Presumably, he is an intelligent person who knows a lot about the history of English river towns and villages. When it comes to his relationship with the fellows, he tries to keep off a scandal that’s why he takes the sculls though it is not his turn to row. Speaking about the heroine of the tragedy there is also not enough to draw any firm conclusions. We are unaware of the whole situation that brought her down that’s why I wouldn’t comment it on. The only thing that is worth discussing is whether she was selfish or not. She left her child all alone with a pack of chocolates in his hand. And yet, we are not certain whether she knew that somebody would look after him or not. Nevertheless, I doubt this suggestion because I think that her relatives did not care for the child as well as they did not worry about her future. Anyhow, only the further plot will show who is right.
The author’s opinion concerning the story is not expressed directly. In my opinion, he feels sorry for a woman who has been abandoned for the mistake she had made. A human is a creation that is unlikely to survive in social isolation. We should also take into account the harsh place in time she lived in. I support his idea claiming that this topic should be discussed. Certainly, the situation of this woman was much harder than people who are «cancelled» have now.
But I believe that these situations have the same evil roots.
Внимание! Спасибо за внимание.
Спасибо за внимание.
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