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The analysis of the text “The Lumber - Room” by H. Munro.

The text under analysis is written by an outstanding British novelist and a short – story writer Hector Munro. He was born in 1870 and died in 1916.Also he is better known for his pseudonym Saki. Owing to the death of his mother and his father’s absence abroad he was brought up during his childhood, with his elder brother and sister by a grandmother and two aunts. It seems probable that their stern and unsympathetic methods account for Munro’s strong dislike of anything that smacks of the conventional and the self-righteous. He satirized things that he hated. H. H. Munro is best known for his humorous and very interesting short stories. He often used black humour language in his stories. It is a form of humor that regards human suffering as absurd rather than pitiable, or that considers human existence as ironic and pointless but somehow comic. He used it in order to deride the human vices and to show inefficiency of actions of moralistic, hypocritical persons. Munro was killed on the French front during the First World War. His sister in her Biography of Saki writes: “One of Munro’s aunts, Augusta, was a woman of ungovernable temper, of fierce likes and dislikes, imperious, and moral coward, possessing no brains worth speaking of, and a primitive disposition.” Naturally the last person who should have been in charge of children. The character of the aunt in the Lumber – Room is Aunt Augusta to the life.

The text tells us a story about a small boy Nicholas, who was brought up by his tyrannical and ungoverned aunt Augusta. He was "in disgrace" as he had refused to eat his wholesome bread-and-milk that morning. When children were taken to Jagborough sands Nicholas made some attempts to get into the gooseberry garden. As a matter of fact, he had no intention of trying to get into the gooseberry garden, but it was extremely convenient for him that his aunt should believe that he had unsympathetic. Soon his aunt tried to look for the boy and slipped into the rain-water tank. She asked Nicholas to fetch a ladder but the boy pretended not to understand her, he said that she was the Evil One. After this accident they both kept silent and everyone has been shipped in their thoughts.

The theme of the text is about relationship between two generations: a little boy Nickolas and his aunt.

The whole story can be divided into 2 parts: the Child's world and the Adult' s world. The first part of the plot is the Adult’s world which is dull, unimaginative and misunderstanding. The Adult’s world is full of warped priorities. Adults become obsessed with insignificant trivialities, like the Aunt that is obsessed about punishing and nitpicking on the children. Her methods of bringing up are rather military and religious. She puts punishment and withholding of enjoyment as more important than getting to know and molding the lives of the children. She keeps all the beautiful and creative things of the house locked away in a lumber-room so as not to spoil them but in doing so, the purpose of the objects which is to beauty the house, is lost, leaving the house dull and colourless. The second part of the plot describes the Child’s world. It is full of fun and imagination. Nickolas is very imaginative. He imagines the whole story behind the tapestry while the aunt comes out with boring stories and ideas like about circus or going to the beach. She tries to convince Nickolas about fun of a trip to the beach but lacks the imagination to sound convincing.



As for the structural division of the text, we may single out:

· The plot, in which we learn about little Nicholas, his cousins and his strict aunt. Nicholas got into his aunt’s disgrace. So his cousins were to be taken to Jagborough sands that afternoon and he was to stay at home. The Aunt was absolutely sure that the boy was determined to get into the gooseberry garden because she has told him he is not to.

· The gradation, when Nicholas got into an unknown land of lumber-room. Forbidden fruit is sweet and truly the lumber-room is described as a storehouse of unimagined treasure. Every single item brings life and imagination to Nicholas and is symbolic of what the adult of real world lacks. He often pictured to himself what the lumber-room was like, since that was the region that was so carefully sealed from youthful eyes. The tapestry brings to life imagination and fantasy within Nicholas, the interesting pots and candlesticks bring an aesthetic quality, visual beauty which stirs up his creative mind; and lastly a large square book full of coloured pictures of birds. And such birds! They allow Nicholas to learn in a fun and exciting way.

· The climax of the text. While the boy was admiring the colouring of a mandarin duck, the voice of his aunt came from the gooseberry garden. She got slipped into the rain-water tank and couldn’t go out. She demanded from the boy to bring her a ladder, but he said her voice didn’t sound like his aunt’s. You may be the Evil One tempting me to be disobedient. Justice must be done. The Aunt tasted the fruit of her own punishment on the children. She is accused of falling from grace, of lying to Nicholas about jam and thus termed the Evil One. She feels what it is like to be condemned.

· The denouncement. The Aunt is furious and enforces in the house. She maintained the frozen muteness of one who has suffered undignified and unmerited detention in a rain-water tank for thirty-five minutes. Nicholas was also silent, in the absorption of an enchanting picture of a hunter and a stag.

The narration is ordered chronologically, each episode is given with more and more emphasis. The story is narrated in the 3rd person. The text’s tonality is rather ridiculous and skeptical which creates comic, satiric and ironical mood narration is ordered chronologically, each episode is given with more and more emphasis. The story is narrated in the 3rd person. The narrative is revealed exclusively through the eyes of Nicholas. This allows the reader to access the situation and the characters in an objective manner so the characters are complex, having both positive and negative viewpoints.

The vocabulary is employed by the author in keeping with the subject-matter. So he frequent uses a) military terms, b) religious words.

The author used to a lot of stylistic devices in order to show inner world of main characters.

In the story the Aunt is represented as self-righteous and strict person. She always is right. This can be proved by the epithets used by the author: frivolous ground, considerable obstinacy, unauthorized intrusion.

The aunt was a religious person, as she thought about herself, but really she was not. A religious person loves people around her, understands that only love, trust and kindness can help the upbringing but the aunt took from religion only what she wanted: sins, strictness. To show this the author unfolds the specifying words characterizing Aunt’s speech: religious words (disgrace, sin, disgraceful, depravity, to fall from grace); and her actions and attitude towards children: military words (skilled, to shift from favorable ground, expedition, trivial gardening operations, germinated, self-imposed, sorties, wriggle).

To prove that the aunt thinks of herself as a wiser and that she doesn’t like to be in a wrong the author uses her own words in represented speech: “there could not be a frog in his bread-and-milk and that he was not to talk nonsense”.

Being cold, drily, lacking of love she is more concerned with punishing the children: she keeps jam and goodies away from them; she bars children from the beautiful places in the house like the garden and lumber-room. Unable to understand and communicate with children she is not even aware of the tightness of her son’s boots. She dictates their lives for them, insisting on where they should go for entertainment.

The author has a critical and very often ironic attitude to aunt underlining her narrow-mindedness with the help of oxymoron “a woman of few ideas” and metaphor “had leapt to the conclusion”; her unimaginativeness using zeugma“a circus of unrivalled merit and uncounted elephants”. The author calls the gooseberry garden “forbidden paradise” unfolding a biblical allusion strengthening ironic effect.

In the story Nickolas is presented as a very imaginative, curious and vivacious child. It can be proved by the usage of a great variety of colorful epithets: wonderful things, a living breathing story, instant attention, undreamed-of creatures. Everything in the world was new and interesting for him. The author shows it with the help of metaphors: “mysteries of the lumber-room”, “an unknown land”, “ a whole portrait gallery of undreamed – of creatures”.

Sometimes Nicholas’ innocent feelings of delight appear in the text through the represented speech: “And such birds!”

However it is reasonable to mention that Nickolas possesses not only positive traits of character. Sometimes we can see sarcasm in his words which is represented through the black humour: “How did she howl” – said Nickolas cheerfully (he said about his cousin - sister); “There was an unusual sense of luxury in being able to talk to an aunt as though one was talking to the Evil One” (about his aunt); and bathosas she was scrambling”. Nickolas makes fun of hunter’s skills in archery, the author shows it with irony “all one knew about his skill in shooting was that he could hit a large stag at a ridiculously short range”. Nickolas is quite cruel to animals. We can notice it when he imagines the scene “when the huntsmen would escape while the wolves feasted on the stricken stag”. The author uses the specifying word here to underline the fact that Nickolas had no sympathy at that moment.

He is quite reasonable and sly child. When he leaves the lumber-room the author unfolds the succession of actions. The author enumerates his actions one by one. It seems that Nickolas had thought over them before in order his aunt did not notice his presence in this place. What is more important Nickolas doesn’t want to get into the gooseberry garden but wants to make his aunt believe he wants to. The author uses paradox“As a matter of fact he had no intention of trying to get into the gooseberry garden, but it was extremely convenient for him that his aunt should believe that he had”.

He is stubborn and mischievous but in spite of all these characteristics the author is in favour of Nickolas with his imaginativeness, directness and innocence. They can be seen in zeugma the author unfolds: “he felt perfectly capable of being in disgrace and in a gooseberry garden at the same moment”.

As this story is about middle – class people it is written in the literary style. The bookish words are prevailing: wholesome, frivolous ground, possibly, nonsense, nevertheless, veriest nonsense, the coloration and marking, the alleged frog, the dramatic part, the incident, the whole affair, the mind, the utmost assurance, the insistence, unwarranted stretch of imagination. However the Aunt tried to bring up children in strict, military and religious way so there are specifying words in the text. They are military words: skilled, to shift from favorable ground, expedition, trivial gardening operations, germinated, self-imposed, sorties, wriggle; and religious words: disgrace, sin, disgraceful, depravity, to fall from grace.

On the example of the story the author attaches our attention to different worlds of children and adults. The Child’s World is wonderful, imaginative, it is full of fantasies and dreams. It is a wonderful period in people’s life and adults should respect children and treat them in a proper way.

In conclusion I’d like to say that the author’s style is remarkable for its powerful sweep, brilliant illustrations and deep psychological analysis. The story reveals the author’s great knowledge of man’s inner world. The text deals with the problems of upbringing and we can see that the author’s attitude to adults is a little bit cynical. His ironical cynicism combined with a keen wit and power observation affords him effective means of portraying reality without shrinking before its seamy side. It’s quite obvious that when describing the hard-heartedness and indifference of Adult world he is not indignant but rather amused. The charm of this story lies in its interesting plot and exciting situation. At the same time it conveys deep thought, keen observation and sharpness of characterization.

 

Caged

Purcell was a small, fussy' man; red cheeks and a tight melon- like stomach. Large glasses so magnified his eyes as to give him the appearance of a wise and kind owl.

He owned a pet shop. He sold cats and dogs and monkeys; he dealt in fish food and bird seed, prescribed remedies for ailing canaries, on his shelves there were long rows of cages. He considered himself something of a professional man.

There was a constant stir of life in his shop. The customers who came in said:

"Aren't they cute'! Look at that little monkey! They're sweet."

And Mr. Purcell himself would smile and rub his hands and nod his head.

Each morning, when the routine of opening his shop was completed, it was the proprietor's custom to perch on a high stool, behind the counter, unfold his morning paper, and digest the day's news.

It was a raw, wintry day. Wind gusted against the high, plate glass windows. Having completed his usual tasks, Mr. Purceil again mounted the high stool and unfolded his morning paper. He adjusted his glasses, and glanced at the day's headlines.

There was a bell over the door that rang whenever a customer entered. This morning, however, for the first time Mr. Purcell could recall, it failed to ring. Simply he glanced up, and there was the stranger, standing just inside the door, as if he had materialized out of thin air.

The storekeeper slid off his stool. From the first instant he knew instinctively, that the man hated him; but out of habit he rubbed his hands, smiled and nodded.

"Good morning," he beamed. "What can I do for you?"

The man's shiny shoes squeaked forward. His suit was cheap, ill-fitting, but obviously new. Ignoring Purcell for the moment, he looked around the shadowy shop.

"A nasty morning," volunteered the shopkeeper. He clasped both hands across his melon like stomach, and smiled importantly. Now what was it you wanted?"

The man stared closely at Purcell, as though just now aware of his presence. He said, "I want something in a cage."

"Something in a cage?" Mr. Purcell was a bit confused. "You mean – some sort of pet?"

"I mean what I said!" snapped' the man. "Something in a cage. Something alive that's in a cage."

"I see," hastened the storekeeper, not at all certain that he did. "Now let me think. A white rat, perhaps? I have some very nice white rats."

"No! Not rats. Something with wings. Something that flies."


"A bird!" exclaimed Mr. Purcell.

"A bird's all right." The customer pointed suddenly to a cage which contained two snowy birds. "Doves? How much for those?"

"Five-fifty," came the prompt answer. "And a very reasonable price. They are a fine pair."

"Five-fifty?" The man was obviously disappointed. He produced a five-dollar bill. "I'd like to have those birds. But this is all I've got. Just five dollars."

Mentally, Mr. Purcell made a quick calculation, which told him that at a fifty cent reduction he could still reap a tidy profit. He smiled kindly "My dear man, if you want them that badly, you can certainly have them for five dollars."

"I'll take them." He laid his five dollars on the counter. Mr. Purcell unhooked the cage, and handed it to his customer. "That noise!" The man said suddenly. "Doesn't it get on your nerves?"

"Noise? What noise?" Mr. Purcell looked surprised. He could hear nothing unusual.

"Listen." The staring eyes came closer. "How long d'you think it took me to make that five dollars?"

The merchant wanted to order him out of the shop. But oddly enough, he couldn't. He heard himself asking, "Why – why, how long did it take you?"

The other laughed. "Ten years! At hard labour. Ten years to earn five dollars. Fifty cents a year."

It was best, Purcell decided, to humor him. "My, my! Ten years. That's certainly a long time. Now"

"They give you five dollars," laughed the man, "and a cheap suit, and tell you not to get caught again."

The man swung around, and stalked abruptly from the store.

Purcell sighed with sudden relief. He walked to the window and stared out. Just outside, his peculiar customer had stopped. He was holding the cage shoulder-high, staring at his purchase. Then, opening the cage, he reached inside and drew out one of the doves. He tossed it into the air. He drew out the second and tossed it after the first. They rose like balls and were lost in the smoky gray of the wintry city. For an instant the liberator's silent gaze watched them. Then he dropped the cage and walked away.

The merchant was perplexed. So desperately had the man desired the doves that he had let him have them at a reduced price. And immediately he had turned them loose. "Now why," Mr. Purcell muttered, "did he do that?" He felt vaguely insulted.

Purcell was a small, fussy man; red cheeks and a tight melonlike stomach. Large glasses so magnified his eyes as to give him the appearance of a wise and kind owl.

He owned a pet shop. He sold cats and dogs and monkeys; he dealt in fish food and bird seed, prescribed remedies for ailing canaries, on his shelves there were long rows f cages. He considered himself something or professional man.

There was a constant stir of life in his shop. The customers who came in said: “Aren’t they very cute! Look at that little monkey! They’re sweet”.

And Mr. Purcell himself would smile and rub his hands and nod his head.

Each morning, when the routine of opening his shop was completed, it was the proprietor’s custom to perch on a high stool, behind the counter, unfold his morning paper, and digest the day’s news.

It was a raw, wintry day. Wind gusted against the high, plateglass windows.
Having completed his usual tasks, Mr. Purcell again mounted the high stool and unfolded his morning paper.
He adjusted his glasses, and glanced at the day’s headlines.

There was a bell over the door that rang whenever a customer entered.
This morning however, for the first time Mr. Purcell could recall, it failed to ring.
Simply he glanced up, and there was the stranger, standing just inside the door,
as if he had materialized out of thin air.

The storekeeper slid off his stool.
From the first instant he knew instinctively,
that the man hated him; but out of habit he rubbed his hands,
smiled and nodded.

“Good morning”, he beamed. “What can I do for you?”

The man’s shinny shoes squeaked forward. His suit was cheap, ill-fitting, but obviously new. Ignoring Purcell for a moment, he looked around the shadowy shop.

“A nasty morning”, volunteered the shopkeeper. He clasped both hands across his melonlike stomach, and smiled importantly. “Now what was it you wanted?”

The man stared closely at Purcell, as though just now aware of his presence. He said, “I want something in a cage”.
“Something in a cage?” Mr. Purcell was a bit confused. “You mean – some sort of pet?”
“I mean what I said!” snapped the man. “Something in a cage. Something alive that’s in a cage”.
“I see,” hastened a storekeeper, not at all certain that he did. “Now let me think. A white rat, perhaps? I have some very nice white rats”.
“No!” said the man. “Not rats. Something with wings. Something that flies”.
“A bird!” exclaimed Mr. Purcell.
“A bird’s all right”. The customer pointed suddenly to the cage which contained two snowy birds. “Doves? How much for those?”
“Five-fifty,” was prompt answer. “And a very reasonable price. They are fine pair”.
“Five-fifty?” The man was obviously disappointed. He produced a five dollars bill. “I’d like to have those birds. But this is all I’ve got. Just a five dollars”.
Mentally, Mr. Purcell made a quick calculation, which told him that at fifty cent reduction he could still reap a tidy profit. He smiled kindly “My dear man, if you want them that badly, you can certainly have them for five dollars”.
“I’ll take them”. He laid his five dollars on the counter. Mr. Purcell unhooked the cage and handed it to his customer. “That noise!” The man said suddenly. “Doesn’t it get on your nerves?”
“Noise? What noise?” Mr. Purcell could hear nothing unusual.
“Listen”. The staring eyes came closer. “How long do you think it took me to make that five dollars?”
The merchant wanted to order him out of his shop. But oddly enough, he couldn’t. He heard himself asking, “Why-why, how long did it take you?”
The other laughed. “Ten years! At hard labor. Ten years to earn five dollars. Fifty cents a year”.
It was best, Purcell decided, to humor him. “My, my! Ten years. That’s certainly a long time. Now –“
“They give you five dollars,” laughed the man, “and a cheap suit, and tell you not to get caught again”.
The man swung around, and stalked abruptly from the store.
Purcell sighed with sudden relief. He walked to the window and stared out. Just outside, his peculiar customer had stopped. He was holding the cage shoulder-high, staring at his purchase. Then, opening the cage he reached inside and drew out one of the doves. He tossed it into the air. He drew out the second and tossed it after the first. They rose like balls and were lost in he smoky gray of the wintry city. For an instant the liberator’s silent gaze watched them. Then he dropped the cage and walked away…
“Caged” L. E. Reeve

for example “Caged” L. E. Reeve
Example of the analysis of the text :
Purcell was a small, fussy man; red cheeks and a tight melonlike stomach. Large glasses so magnified his eyes as to give him the appearance of a wise and kind owl.

He owned a pet shop. He sold cats and dogs and monkeys; he dealt in fish food and bird seed, prescribed remedies for ailing canaries, on his shelves there were long rows f cages. He considered himself something or professional man.

There was a constant stir of life in his shop. The customers who came in said: “Aren’t they very cute! Look at that little monkey! They’re sweet”.

And Mr. Purcell himself would smile and rub his hands and nod his head.

Each morning, when the routine of opening his shop was completed, it was the proprietor’s custom to perch on a high stool, behind the counter, unfold his morning paper, and digest the day’s news.

It was a raw, wintry day. Wind gusted against the high, plateglass windows.
Having completed his usual tasks, Mr. Purcell again mounted the high stool and unfolded his morning paper.
He adjusted his glasses, and glanced at the day’s headlines.

There was a bell over the door that rang whenever a customer entered.
This morning however, for the first time Mr. Purcell could recall, it failed to ring.
Simply he glanced up, and there was the stranger, standing just inside the door,
as if he had materialized out of thin air.

The storekeeper slid off his stool.
From the first instant he knew instinctively,
that the man hated him; but out of habit he rubbed his hands,
smiled and nodded.

“Good morning”, he beamed. “What can I do for you?”

The man’s shinny shoes squeaked forward. His suit was cheap, ill-fitting, but obviously new. Ignoring Purcell for a moment, he looked around the shadowy shop.

“A nasty morning”, volunteered the shopkeeper. He clasped both hands across his melonlike stomach, and smiled importantly. “Now what was it you wanted?”

The man stared closely at Purcell, as though just now aware of his presence. He said, “I want something in a cage”.
“Something in a cage?” Mr. Purcell was a bit confused. “You mean – some sort of pet?”
“I mean what I said!” snapped the man. “Something in a cage. Something alive that’s in a cage”.
“I see,” hastened a storekeeper, not at all certain that he did. “Now let me think. A white rat, perhaps? I have some very nice white rats”.
“No!” said the man. “Not rats. Something with wings. Something that flies”.
“A bird!” exclaimed Mr. Purcell.
“A bird’s all right”. The customer pointed suddenly to the cage which contained two snowy birds. “Doves? How much for those?”
“Five-fifty,” was prompt answer. “And a very reasonable price. They are fine pair”.
“Five-fifty?” The man was obviously disappointed. He produced a five dollars bill. “I’d like to have those birds. But this is all I’ve got. Just a five dollars”.
Mentally, Mr. Purcell made a quick calculation, which told him that at fifty cent reduction he could still reap a tidy profit. He smiled kindly “My dear man, if you want them that badly, you can certainly have them for five dollars”.
“I’ll take them”. He laid his five dollars on the counter. Mr. Purcell unhooked the cage and handed it to his customer. “That noise!” The man said suddenly. “Doesn’t it get on your nerves?”
“Noise? What noise?” Mr. Purcell could hear nothing unusual.
“Listen”. The staring eyes came closer. “How long do you think it took me to make that five dollars?”
The merchant wanted to order him out of his shop. But oddly enough, he couldn’t. He heard himself asking, “Why-why, how long did it take you?”
The other laughed. “Ten years! At hard labor. Ten years to earn five dollars. Fifty cents a year”.
It was best, Purcell decided, to humor him. “My, my! Ten years. That’s certainly a long time. Now –“
“They give you five dollars,” laughed the man, “and a cheap suit, and tell you not to get caught again”.
The man swung around, and stalked abruptly from the store.
Purcell sighed with sudden relief. He walked to the window and stared out. Just outside, his peculiar customer had stopped. He was holding the cage shoulder-high, staring at his purchase. Then, opening the cage he reached inside and drew out one of the doves. He tossed it into the air. He drew out the second and tossed it after the first. They rose like balls and were lost in he smoky gray of the wintry city. For an instant the liberator’s silent gaze watched them. Then he dropped the cage and walked away…

for example “Caged” L. E. Reeve
Example of the analysis of the text :
Purcell was a small, fussy man; red cheeks and a tight melonlike stomach. Large glasses so magnified his eyes as to give him the appearance of a wise and kind owl.

He owned a pet shop. He sold cats and dogs and monkeys; he dealt in fish food and bird seed, prescribed remedies for ailing canaries, on his shelves there were long rows f cages. He considered himself something or professional man.

There was a constant stir of life in his shop. The customers who came in said: “Aren’t they very cute! Look at that little monkey! They’re sweet”.

And Mr. Purcell himself would smile and rub his hands and nod his head.

Each morning, when the routine of opening his shop was completed, it was the proprietor’s custom to perch on a high stool, behind the counter, unfold his morning paper, and digest the day’s news.

It was a raw, wintry day. Wind gusted against the high, plateglass windows.
Having completed his usual tasks, Mr. Purcell again mounted the high stool and unfolded his morning paper.
He adjusted his glasses, and glanced at the day’s headlines.

There was a bell over the door that rang whenever a customer entered.
This morning however, for the first time Mr. Purcell could recall, it failed to ring.
Simply he glanced up, and there was the stranger, standing just inside the door,
as if he had materialized out of thin air.

The storekeeper slid off his stool.
From the first instant he knew instinctively,
that the man hated him; but out of habit he rubbed his hands,
smiled and nodded.

“Good morning”, he beamed. “What can I do for you?”

The man’s shinny shoes squeaked forward. His suit was cheap, ill-fitting, but obviously new. Ignoring Purcell for a moment, he looked around the shadowy shop.

“A nasty morning”, volunteered the shopkeeper. He clasped both hands across his melonlike stomach, and smiled importantly. “Now what was it you wanted?”

The man stared closely at Purcell, as though just now aware of his presence. He said, “I want something in a cage”.
“Something in a cage?” Mr. Purcell was a bit confused. “You mean – some sort of pet?”
“I mean what I said!” snapped the man. “Something in a cage. Something alive that’s in a cage”.
“I see,” hastened a storekeeper, not at all certain that he did. “Now let me think. A white rat, perhaps? I have some very nice white rats”.
“No!” said the man. “Not rats. Something with wings. Something that flies”.
“A bird!” exclaimed Mr. Purcell.
“A bird’s all right”. The customer pointed suddenly to the cage which contained two snowy birds. “Doves? How much for those?”
“Five-fifty,” was prompt answer. “And a very reasonable price. They are fine pair”.
“Five-fifty?” The man was obviously disappointed. He produced a five dollars bill. “I’d like to have those birds. But this is all I’ve got. Just a five dollars”.
Mentally, Mr. Purcell made a quick calculation, which told him that at fifty cent reduction he could still reap a tidy profit. He smiled kindly “My dear man, if you want them that badly, you can certainly have them for five dollars”.
“I’ll take them”. He laid his five dollars on the counter. Mr. Purcell unhooked the cage and handed it to his customer. “That noise!” The man said suddenly. “Doesn’t it get on your nerves?”
“Noise? What noise?” Mr. Purcell could hear nothing unusual.
“Listen”. The staring eyes came closer. “How long do you think it took me to make that five dollars?”
The merchant wanted to order him out of his shop. But oddly enough, he couldn’t. He heard himself asking, “Why-why, how long did it take you?”
The other laughed. “Ten years! At hard labor. Ten years to earn five dollars. Fifty cents a year”.
It was best, Purcell decided, to humor him. “My, my! Ten years. That’s certainly a long time. Now –“
“They give you five dollars,” laughed the man, “and a cheap suit, and tell you not to get caught again”.
The man swung around, and stalked abruptly from the store.
Purcell sighed with sudden relief. He walked to the window and stared out. Just outside, his peculiar customer had stopped. He was holding the cage shoulder-high, staring at his purchase. Then, opening the cage he reached inside and drew out one of the doves. He tossed it into the air. He drew out the second and tossed it after the first. They rose like balls and were lost in he smoky gray of the wintry city. For an instant the liberator’s silent gaze watched them. Then he dropped the cage and walked away…
The title of the text is “Caged”
This short story which has been chosen for stylistic analysis is
one of the numerous stories belonged to English novelist L.E. Reeve.
“Caged” means to “be shut up or” “to be held in captivity” or to have the feeling of being prisoned.
“Caged” is a person or animal that is confined in condition of being prisoned.
for example :he was being prisoned for ten years (Past Continuous, Passive Voice).

The text of the fragment is complete in itself and it is interesting from the point of view of its idea of Freedom.
This short story is a fairly easy read.
Analysis of the major characters shows that The storekeeper Mr. Purcell and his new customer was opposite characters .
Narrator have chosen that metaphor for focusing ….
on their personalities, motivations, relationships, and their roles in the theme of freedom.
A pair of white doves is a common symbol of love and devotion and freedom.(dove of peace)
Thereby allowing the author to present opposite viewpoints from within the metaphor.
A pair of white doves is a symbol of freedom for stranger turning the dove over in his own life.
In its most basic sense, a symbol is something that stands for something else
Proving that pigeons also have this ability show that such high free bird can fly …
The Supermans wings was the dream of his life, because if he could fly to other worlds and galaxies
and even across universes with relative ease, , he would say “it is going to be a very, very big day” that he sees as an existence within a prison.
I guess he had been convicted of financial crime ten years ago.
Released from prison was just tearing and it felt like he was a Superman.
The stranger was dreaming about his new life in freedom, but he had felt himself like a stranger…
The stranger in an unknown place and wants to get more freedom.
Liberty is the souls right to breathe for him.
Concept of freedom is often misunderstood as a sort of place, but storekeeper was caged in his shop all day and considered himself something of a professional man.
The author uses irony in this story.
Why might an author use verbal irony?. Is it irony that that author to compel the reader to stop and think about love, sacrifice and what is truly valuable?
Irony: An unexpected twist of events, the opposite of what was expected, so storekeeper was vaguely insulted.
Mr. Purcell was not flight leader, element leader or “Winged Man”, but he was an intelligent man and just storekeeper.
Freedom – is well chosen wings in my humble opinion
Distinctive lexicogrammatical features the narration is interrupted by the elements of description.

“Purcell was a small, fussy man; red cheeks and a tight melonlike stomach.
Large glasses so magnified his eyes as to give him the appearance of a wise and kind owl.”
There is a beautiful tangle of contradictions and irony.
The word “owl”corresponds to the Russian êàê ôèëèí.
If Purcell not to be able to compare with wise man which, as wise serpents but Owl Who Laughs does not guffaw like businessmen…
Owl in Winnie the Pooh. The owl is often depicted as a wise animal. Do you sense the irony?
Narrator tries to understand the problem.
“His smile was like a splash of ham gravy on a Statue of Liberty tie”
Purcell had considered himself something or professional man…
Irony is like the consolation prize you get when something bad happens.
Instead, The Man was considered an example of the strengthened self-assurance.
This lexicogrammatical stratum is focal in this sense.
However this knowledge, in turn, helped me understand Lexicogrammatical Approach to Grammar.

. The open window (Saki)

 

Framton Nuttel, an eccentric hypochondriac, has moved to the country on his doctor’s advice to effect a cure for a nervous condition from which he suffers. His sister has lived in the area he visits and has given him letters of introduction to his new neighbors. The story concerns his visit to the home of one of these neighbors, a Mrs. Sappleton.

Mr. Nuttel is first met by Mrs. Sappleton’s niece Vera, who entertains him until her aunt is available. Vera, apparently bored with her guest, is graced with an overactive imagination and a sense of mischief. Once she determines that Mr. Nuttel knows nothing about the family and is a very literal-minded fellow, Vera spins a gothic yarn involving her aunt, whom she characterizes as a mentally disturbed widow.

Three years ago, Mr. Sappleton and his two younger brothers-in-law went hunting, leaving the house through a French window, which was left open until their return. However, all three of them were lost in a bog that day, Vera asserts, and their bodies were never recovered. The aunt, driven to distraction by her grief and loss, left the window open thereafter, anticipating that “they will come back some day” with “the little brown spaniel that was lost with them, and walk in that window just as they used to do.”

When Mrs. Sappleton finally appears, she explains why the window is open, apparently confirming Vera’s story. Mr. Nuttel then tells Mrs. Sappleton about his nervous disorder and his need to avoid any “mental excitement.” Mrs. Sappleton is clearly bored, but at that very moment she sees her husband and brothers returning from their hunt. Vera appears to be horrified by the sight of them. The nervous Mr. Nuttel is therefore terrified and beats a hasty retreat from the house.

In the closing paragraphs, the issue is clarified. The men had only that day gone hunting, and Vera’s yarn was purely imaginary. Mr. Nuttel has obviously been duped by Vera’s story, but Vera, a habitual liar, does not explain his odd behavior to the others. Instead, Vera invents another story that suggests Mr. Nuttel had once been frightened by “a pack of pariah dogs” in a cemetery “on the banks of the Ganges” and apparently had bolted at the sight of the spaniel accompanying the hunters. Thus, Mr. Nuttel is perfectly victimized by the young girl’s imagination.

The story is told from the third-person point of view, limited in the opening paragraphs to the naïve perception of Mr. Nuttel, who is tricked by Vera’s mischievous fantasy. Because the fantasy is so bizarre and inventive and totally unexpected from a fifteen-year-old girl, the reader is also momentarily duped. Vera’s practical joke, which borders on being cruel, is perfectly consistent. When Mr. Sappleton and the brothers are seen returning from the hunt, she pretends to be horrified. The reader, like Framton Nuttel himself, can only assume, therefore, that this is a supernatural event.

The narrator stays in the house, however, after Mr. Nuttel’s frightened and abrupt departure, so as to reveal the ironic twist and to enjoy Vera’s second demonstration of her ability to produce “romance at short notice,” when she explains to her aunt and uncle that Mr. Nuttel has “a horror of dogs” because of an imagined incident he had in a cemetery in India. By this time the reader has reason to doubt that Mr. Nuttel would be adventuresome enough to travel to India.

Vera clearly has a talent for ornamenting the ordinary and the commonplace, and she is too quick-witted to tolerate boredom. She first makes Mr. Nuttel think that her aunt is a lunatic, then tricks him into a state of panic and fear, taking advantage of the poor man’s nervous disorder. Vera is not only “self-possessed” but also clever. Before setting her trap, she is careful to ascertain that Mr. Nuttel knows “practically nothing” about her aunt or her family.

Saki satirizes Mr. Nuttel’s banality in this miniature comedy of manners, lacing his treatment with his typical dry wit and malice and allowing his characters to reveal themselves through meticulously crafted dialogue. Saki has been ranked with O. Henry as a master of the surprise ending, and no less a craftsperson than Noël Coward, in his introduction to The Complete Works of Saki (1976), praised “The Open Window” as a masterpiece of high comedy.

Saki is the pen name of the British writer Hector Hugh Munro, also known as H. H. Munro (1870 - 1916). In "The Open Window," possibly his most famous story, social conventions and proper etiquette provide cover for a mischievous teenager to wreak havoc on the nerves of an unsuspecting guest.

Plot

Framton Nuttel, seeking a "nerve cure" prescribed by his doctor, visits a rural area where he knows no one.

His sister provides letters of introduction so he can meet people there.

He pays a visit to Mrs. Sappleton. While he waits for her, her 15-year-old niece keeps him company in the parlor. When she realizes Nuttel has never met her aunt and knows nothing about her, she explains that it has been three years since Mrs. Sappleton's "great tragedy," when her husband and brothers went hunting and never returned, presumably engulfed by a bog. Mrs. Sappleton keeps the large French window open every day, hoping for their return.

When Mrs. Sappleton appears she is inattentive to Nuttel, talking instead about her husband's hunting trip and how she expects him home any minute. Her delusional manner and constant glances at the window make Nuttel uneasy.

Then the hunters appear in the distance, and Nuttel, horrified, grabs his walking stick and exits abruptly. When the Sappletons exclaim over his sudden, rude departure, the niece calmly explains that he was probably frightened by the hunters' dog. She claims that Nuttel told her he was once chased into a cemetery in India and held at bay by a pack of aggressive dogs.

The Open Window (Short Story and Analysis)

Short Story Analysis

Author: Saki (Hector Hugh Munroe) (1870 – 1916)

Word Count: 1274

Genre: Thriller, Horror

The Open Window

“My aunt will be down presently, Mr. Nuttel,” said a very self-possessed young lady of fifteen; “in the meantime you must try and put up with me.”

Framton Nuttel endeavored to say the correct something which should duly flatter the niece of the moment without unduly discounting the aunt that was to come. Privately he doubted more than ever whether these formal visits on a succession of total strangers would do much towards helping the nerve cure which he was supposed to be undergoing.

“I know how it will be,” his sister had said when he was preparing to migrate to this rural retreat; “you will bury yourself down there and not speak to a living soul, and your nerves will be worse than ever from moping. I shall just give you letters of introduction to all the people I know there. Some of them, as far as I can remember, were quite nice.”

Framton wondered whether Mrs. Sappleton, the lady to whom he was presenting one of the letters of introduction came into the nice division.

“Do you know many of the people round here?” asked the niece, when she judged that they had had sufficient silent communion.

“Hardly a soul,” said Framton. “My sister was staying here, at the rectory, you know, some four years ago, and she gave me letters of introduction to some of the people here.”

He made the last statement in a tone of distinct regret.

“Then you know practically nothing about my aunt?” pursued the self-possessed young lady.

“Only her name and address,” admitted the caller. He was wondering whether Mrs. Sappleton was in the married or widowed state. An undefinable something about the room seemed to suggest masculine habitation.

“Her great tragedy happened just three years ago,” said the child; “that would be since your sister’s time.”

“Her tragedy?” asked Framton; somehow in this restful country spot tragedies seemed out of place.

< 2 >

“You may wonder why we keep that window wide open on an October afternoon,” said the niece, indicating a large French window that opened on to a lawn.

“It is quite warm for the time of the year,” said Framton; “but has that window got anything to do with the tragedy?”

“Out through that window, three years ago to a day, her husband and her two young brothers went off for their day’s shooting. They never came back. In crossing the moor to their favourite snipe-shooting ground they were all three engulfed in a treacherous piece of bog. It had been that dreadful wet summer, you know, and places that were safe in other years gave way suddenly without warning. Their bodies were never recovered. That was the dreadful part of it.” Here the child’s voice lost its self-possessed note and became falteringly human. “Poor aunt always thinks that they will come back someday, they and the little brown spaniel that was lost with them, and walk in at that window just as they used to do. That is why the window is kept open every evening till it is quite dusk. Poor dear aunt, she has often told me how they went out, her husband with his white waterproof coat over his arm, and Ronnie, her youngest brother, singing ‘Bertie, why do you bound?’ as he always did to tease her, because she said it got on her nerves. Do you know, sometimes on still, quiet evenings like this, I almost get a creepy feeling that they will all walk in through that window – ”

She broke off with a little shudder. It was a relief to Framton when the aunt bustled into the room with a whirl of apologies for being late in making her appearance.

“I hope Vera has been amusing you?” she said.

“She has been very interesting,” said Framton.

“I hope you don’t mind the open window,” said Mrs. Sappleton briskly; “my husband and brothers will be home directly from shooting, and they always come in this way. They’ve been out for snipe in the marshes today, so they’ll make a fine mess over my poor carpets. So like you menfolk, isn’t it?”

< 3 >

She rattled on cheerfully about the shooting and the scarcity of birds, and the prospects for duck in the winter. To Framton it was all purely horrible. He made a desperate but only partially successful effort to turn the talk on to a less ghastly topic; he was conscious that his hostess was giving him only a fragment of her attention, and her eyes were constantly straying past him to the open window and the lawn beyond. It was certainly an unfortunate coincidence that he should have paid his visit on this tragic anniversary.

“The doctors agree in ordering me complete rest, an absence of mental excitement, and avoidance of anything in the nature of violent physical exercise,” announced Framton, who labored under the tolerably widespread delusion that total strangers and chance acquaintances are hungry for the least detail of one’s ailments and infirmities, their cause and cure. “On the matter of diet they are not so much in agreement,” he continued.

“No?” said Mrs. Sappleton, in a voice which only replaced a yawn at the last moment. Then she suddenly brightened into alert attention – but not to what Framton was saying.

“Here they are at last!” she cried. “Just in time for tea, and don’t they look as if they were muddy up to the eyes!”

Framton shivered slightly and turned towards the niece with a look intended to convey sympathetic comprehension. The child was staring out through the open window with a dazed horror in her eyes. In a chill shock of nameless fear Framton swung round in his seat and looked in the same direction.

In the deepening twilight three figures were walking across the lawn towards the window, they all carried guns under their arms, and one of them was additionally burdened with a white coat hung over his shoulders. A tired brown spaniel kept close at their heels. Noiselessly they neared the house, and then a hoarse young voice chanted out of the dusk: “I said, Bertie, why do you bound?”

Framton grabbed wildly at his stick and hat; the hall door, the gravel drive, and the front gate were dimly noted stages in his headlong retreat. A cyclist coming along the road had to run into the hedge to avoid imminent collision.

< 4 >

“Here we are, my dear,” said the bearer of the white mackintosh, coming in through the window, “fairly muddy, but most of it’s dry. Who was that who bolted out as we came up?”

“A most extraordinary man, a Mr. Nuttel,” said Mrs. Sappleton; “could only talk about his illnesses, and dashed off without a word of goodbye or apology when you arrived. One would think he had seen a ghost.”

“I expect it was the spaniel,” said the niece calmly; “he told me he had a horror of dogs. He was once hunted into a cemetery somewhere on the banks of the Ganges by a pack of pariah dogs, and had to spend the night in a newly dug grave with the creatures snarling and grinning and foaming just above him. Enough to make anyone lose their nerve.”

Romance at short notice was her specialty.

Summary:

The Open Window tells about Framton Nuttel who went to countryside to rest his nerves. His sister had said beforehand that his nerves would worsen and had given introduction letters to people there.

There he was talking to Vera, a 15 year – old girl. She is a niece of Mrs Sappleton, a woman to whom Frampton has been given a letter of introduction by his sister. She told him that there was a tragedy befell to Vera’s aunt. Her aunt’s husband and her two young brothers were drowned, died in the marshes while out shooting several years ago. The tragedy sent the aunt out of her mind, and she always keeps the French window (glass door) into the garden open, believing that they will come back.

Mrs. Sappleton then arrived, apologized that she was late. She mentioned about the window to Nuttel and she waited for her husband, two young brothers and her dog. Nuttel felt a horrible atmosphere when he heard it. Then Nuttel looked through the window and found out that there were three men walking towards that window, looking exactly how the neice described them. He runs away in panic; the husband and brothers arrive, very puzzled by the guest’s strange behaviour. Vera calmly tells them that it must have been the dog; he told her he was terrified of dogs after being attacked by wild dogs in India.

Vera is very good at making up stories quickly.

 

Intrinsic Elements

A. Plot

The plot is well – structured and unified. In the beginning the protagonist, Frampton Nuttel, met and had a chat with Vera in a countryside house. He went there because he wanted to rest his nerves.

The conflict begins when she told him about a tragedy of her aunt’s husband and younger brothers. The complication takes place when Mrs. Sappleton, Vera’s aunt, told him about his family which made Nuttel frightened. Then the climax is when Nuttel saw three men and a dog resembled the ones in the story made him ran away because he thought that they were supposedly dead.

The story end with confusion among the inhabitants of the house and Vera explained why Nuttel ran away. In the last sentence the narrator told us that they all just made up stories from Vera who is good at making up stories.

This is a good plot because Vera, as the main character, who sets this story from the first place until the end. Vera seems to be truthful when she tells Nuttel the story of Mr.Sappleton and the hunting party, but in the end it was just a lie.

B. Character

Vera (Main/Major Character):Self-possessed / confident,intelligentandallert,shrewd,creative and imaginative, afine actress. Vera is the major character or she is the center of this story because she is the one who sets this story from beginning until the end. And the theme of this story matches with Vera’s role in this story.

2. Framton Nuttel (Dynamic, Minor Character): A shy, nervous man due to both his medical condition and having to meet many people he doesn’t know. He is a dynamic character because in this story his characteristic is changed after he faced an event. Nuttel has neural problem which makes him cannot think logically and makes him easily believed in Vera’s story.


Date: 2016-01-14; view: 3293


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