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The Mouse" by Saki

 

In the short story, "The Mouse," by Saki, the main character is a gentleman who is sitting next to a lady on a train. The gentleman realizes that a mouse is in his clothing. He is in fear and embarrassment at the thoughts of having to remove his clothing in front of the lady. Of course, she is sleeping and will not notice. Therefore, the gentleman puts up a rug between his carriage and the lady's carriage.

After the gentleman has disrobed, the mouse jumps out, but at the same time, the rug falls and the lady awakes. The gentleman bgrabs the rug to cover himself. He begins explaining why he is covered in a rug, only partially clothed. He explains about the mouse. The woman seems to not care one way or another about the gentleman's lack of clothing.

Approaching the train station, the gentleman realizes he will have to drop the rug and begin clothing himself in front of the lady next to him. He feels he has no other option. He drops the rug and puts his clothes on again. The woman seems to not mind.

Arriving at the train station, the lady asks the gentleman if he will call someone to help her off the train. The climax of the story occurs when she states that she is blind. Ironically, she has not seen anything that the gentleman was trying to hide from her. The gentleman has been embarrassed for no reason.

Theodoric Voler had been brought up, from infancy to the confines of middle age, by a fond mother whose chief solicitude had been to keep him screened from what she called the coarser realities of life. When she died she left Theodoric alone in a world that was as real as ever, and a good deal coarser than he considered it had any need to be. To a man of his temperament and upbringing even a simple railway journey was crammed with petty annoyances and minor discords, and as he settled himself down in a second-class compartment one September morning he was conscious of ruffled feelings and general mental discomposure.

He had been staying at a country vicarage, the inmates of which had been certainly neither brutal nor bacchanalian, but their supervision of the domestic establishment had been of that lax order which invites disaster. The pony carriage that was to take him to the station had never been properly ordered, and when the moment for his departure drew near, the handyman who should have produced the required article was nowhere to be found. In this emergency Theodoric, to his mute but very intense disgust, found himself obliged to collaborate with the vicar's daughter in the task of harnessing the pony, which necessitated groping about in an ill-lighted outbuilding called a stable, and smelling very like one - except in patches where it smelled of mice. Without being actually afraid of mice, Theodoric classed them among the coarser incidents of life, and considered that Providence, with a little exercise of moral courage, might long ago have recognised that they were not indispensable, and have withdrawn them from circulation.



As the train glided out of the station Theodoric's nervous imagination accused himself of exhaling a weak odour of stable yard, and possibly of displaying a mouldy straw or two on his unusually well-brushed garments. Fortunately the only other occupation of the compartment, a lady of about the same age as himself, seemed inclined for slumber rather than scrutiny; the train was not due to stop till the terminus was reached, in about an hour's time, and the carriage was of the old-fashioned sort that held no communication with a corridor, therefore no further travelling companions were likely to intrude on Theodoric's semiprivacy. And yet the train had scarcely attained its normal speed before he became reluctantly but vividly aware that he was not alone with the slumbering lady; he was not even alone in his own clothes.

< 2 >

A warm, creeping movement over his flesh betrayed the unwelcome and highly resented presence, unseen but poignant, of a strayed mouse, that had evidently dashed into its present retreat during the episode of the pony harnessing. Furtive stamps and shakes and wildly directed pinches failed to dislodge the intruder, whose motto, indeed, seemed to be Excelsior; and the lawful occupant of the clothes lay back against the cushions and endeavoured rapidly to evolve some means for putting an end to the dual ownership. It was unthinkable that he should continue for the space of a whole hour in the horrible position of a Rowton House for vagrant mice (already his imagination had at least doubled the numbers of the alien invasion). On the other hand, nothing less drastic than partial disrobing would ease him of his tormentor, and to undress in the presence of a lady, even for so laudable a purpose, was an idea that made his ear tips tingle in a blush of abject shame. He had never been able to bring himself even to the mild exposure of open-work socks in the presence of the fair sex. And yet - the lady in this case was to all appearances soundly and securely asleep; the mouse, on the other hand, seemed to be trying to crowd a wanderjahr into a few strenuous minutes. If there is any truth in the theory of transmigration, this particular mouse must certainly have been in a former state a member of the Alpine Club. Sometimes in its eagerness it lost its footing and slipped for half an inch or so; and then, in fright, or more probably temper, it bit. Theodoric was goaded into the most audacious undertaking of his life. Crimsoning to the hue of a beetroot and keeping an agonised watch on his slumbering fellow traveller, he swiftly and noiselessly secured the ends of his railway rug to the racks on either side of the carriage, so that a substantial curtain hung athwart the compartment. In the narrow dressing room that he had thus improvised he proceeded with violent haste to extricate himself partially and the mouse entirely from the surrounding casings of tweed and half-wool.

As the unravelled mouse gave a wild leap to the floor, the rug, slipping its fastening at either end, also came down with a heart-curdling flop, and almost simultaneously the awakened sleeper opened her eyes. With a movement almost quicker than the mouse's, Theodoric pounced on the rug and hauled its ample folds chin-high over his dismantled person as he collapsed into the farther corner of the carriage. The blood raced and beat in the veins of his neck and forehead, while he waited dumbly for the communication cord to be pulled. The lady, however, contented herself with a silent stare at her strangely muffled companion. How much had she seen, Theodoric queried to himself; and in any case what on earth must she think of his present posture?

< 3 >

"I think I have caught a chill," he ventured desperately.

"Really, I'm sorry," she replied. "I was just going to ask you if you would open this window."

"I fancy it's malaria," he added, his teeth chattering slightly, as much from fright as from a desire to support his theory.

"I've got some brandy in my holdall, if you'll kindly reach it down for me," said his companion.

"Not for worlds - I mean, I never take anything for it," he assured her earnestly.

"I suppose you caught it in the tropics?"

Theodoric, whose acquaintance with the tropics was limited to an annual present of a chest of tea from an uncle in Ceylon, felt that even the malaria was slipping from him. Would it be possible, he wondered to disclose the real state of affairs to her in small instalments?

"Are you afraid of mice?" he ventured, growing, if possible, more scarlet in the face.

"Not unless they came in quantities. Why do you ask?"

"I had one crawling inside my clothes just now," said Theodoric in a voice that hardly seemed his own. "It was a most awkward situation."

"It must have been, if you wear your clothes at all tight," she observed. "But mice have strange ideas of comfort."

"I had to get rid of it while you were asleep," he continued. Then, with a gulp, he added, "It was getting rid of it that brought me to - to this."

"Surely leaving off one small mouse wouldn't bring on a chill," she exclaimed, with a levity that Theodoric accounted abominable.

Evidently she had detected something of his predicament, and was enjoying his confusion. All the blood in his body seemed to have mobilised in one concentrated blush, and an agony of abasement, worse than a myriad mice, crept up and down over his soul. And then, as reflection began to assert itself, sheer terror took the place of humiliation. With every minute that passed the train was rushing nearer to the crowded and bustling terminus, where dozens of prying eyes would be exchanged for the one paralysing pair that watched him from the farther corner of the carriage. There was one slender, despairing chance, which the next few minutes must decide. His fellow traveller might relapse into a blessed slumber. But as the minutes throbbed by that chance ebbed away. The furtive glance which Theodoric stole at her from time to time disclosed only an unwinking wakefulness.

< 4 >

"I think we must be getting near now," she presently observed.

Theodoric had already noted with growing terror the recurring stacks of small, ugly dwellings that heralded the journey's end. The words acted as a signal. Like a hunted beast breaking cover and dashing madly toward some other haven of momentary safety he threw aside his rug, and struggled frantically into his dishevelled garments. He was conscious of dull suburban stations racing past the window, of a choking, hammering sensation in his throat and heart, and of an icy silence in that corner toward which he dared not look. Then as he sank back in his seat, clothed and almost delirious, the train slowed down to a final crawl, and the woman spoke.

"Would you be so kind," she asked, "as to get me a porter to put me into a cab? It's a shame to trouble you when you're feeling unwell, but being blind makes one so helpless at a railway station."

William Saroyan

The text under stylistic analysis is written by William Saroyan. It deals with the authors lings and sympathy for the young Filipino whom he described in his story.

This text is about the drunkard who dislike the small well-dressed Filipino and who didn’t want Filipino (to be in the room with white people) to crowd among white people.

The story begins with the drunkard’s description. Both his appearance and his emotional state. He wasn’t rich as he wasn’t well-dressed. He wore just the brown camel-hair coat. Besides he was drunk and to underline it the author uses here the epithet “loud-mouthed guy”. That he took a sudden dislike to the small well-dressed Filipino wasn’t the fact he was really mean. No, he was just drunk.

Well, as I said there was a crowd of people who were waiting to get on the board and cross the bay to Oakland.

He couldn’t just understand how he, who fought two years in France and who had been wounded twice in the war, could live so.

And such fellows as the Filipino are the best-dressed men in San Francisco who make their money by washing dishes. He thought it was unjustly.

Among the crowd were the small Filipino whom he disliked at once and began to order him around the waiting room.

He wanted him to get back and not to crowd among white people. And even began swearing at him. And to show the atmosphere of all the happening things. The author uses a comparison “He swore a lot… a lot of Cadies had to imagine they were deaf and weren’t hearing any of the things he was saying…”

The Filipino was so frightened that he had nothing to do except fleeing from the drunkard. So he moved swiftly among the people looking about for a place to mind and rushed into the lavatory.

The drunkard entered the lavatory where he swore more freely and when he came to the compartment where the boy was standing he began swearing and demanding that the boy come out.

The main idea of this text is …

"The Filipino and the Drunkard"

In the story “The Filipino and the Drunkard”, written by William Saroyan I believe that the society or the people on the boat are the people who are the most responsible for what happened. It was a hard situation and stepping up to make a difference was hard to do. I can understand how the people on the boat did nothing but I believe that in the end it was there fault the drunkard was killed.

I believe that if the crowd had stepped up to take their place like they should have done this would have never happened. In this particular situation, the boy was literally helpless and could not fend for himself. He needed someone to come to his rescue and no one did. He fought back in what ever way that he possibly could. I don’t believe that killing the drunkard was right but I think that he chose to do that because he felt that was his only option. No one was being the bigger person to step up and help him so he helped himself. If I had been on the boat ride I would like to say that I would have gotten the drunk caught and captured, but I would probably have been caught up in the moment and not have had enough courage to step out. I know this position is wrong, but its reality. I think any bystander in that situation would have no idea what to do so they would just wait for someone else to step up.

Another situation where people tend to just stand by and let things happen is with beatings. Many children or spouses are verbally and physically abused by their parents or spouses and people know, but never tell. Those people’s lives are at risk and society tries to pretend as though it does not happen. Individuals in the society are responsible for letting authorities know. If they don’t they are playing a part of the hurting. If you were to know something and would not tell, you are indeed just as guilty as the person who was doing the beating. Other events around the world include abortions, theft, beating, bullying, cheating, and affairs. All of these events are life altering and the people who know won’t tell. What has our society come to where a person must virtually be killed for someone to step up or realize that something must be done? This is the sad reality of the world which we live in. We need to be aware of the hurting people in the world and step up whenever we see something like this happen, even if it means bad circumstances for us.

Analisys Essay

Below is a free essay on "Analisys" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Analysis of the story
“The Filipino and the Drunkard”
By William Saroyan
William Saroyan was an internationally renowned Armenian-American writer, playwright and humanitarian. Saroyan is unique among writers. He acknowledged the Armenian culture as an important source of literary inspiration. Saroyan writes humanely and powerfully, with restless enthusiasm. His major themes are aspiration, hope and honesty; materialism and success mean nothing. His works show the basic goodness of all people, especially the obscure and naive and the value of life. One of his works is the story “The Filipino and the Drunkard”. It is about racism and public apathy.
This text is about two persons: the Drunkard and a boy named Filipino. The story takes place in a waiting room and on a ferry between San Francisco and Oakland. In the beginning of the story, the Drunkard starts to bother the Filipino. He tells him to stay away from the other people because they are white and he isn’t. The Filipino reacts by trying to get away from the Drunkard. When the ferry arrives, the Filipino runs to a corner and then to the lavatory to hide from the Drunkard. Unfortunately, the Drunkard finds the Filipino there and continues to harass him. Eventually, the Filipino becomes so angry that he attacks the Drunkard with his knife, stabbing him several times “like a boxer jabs in the clinches” until he is dead. During the entire story, the crowd knows that the Drunkard is acting inappropriately and that a fight might happen. However, no one does anything to help the Filipino and prevent the tragic death of the Drunkard.
The main characters in this story are the Drunkard and the Filipino.
The Drunkard wasn’t rich as he wasn’t well-dressed. He wore just the brown camel-hair coat. Besides he was drunk and to underline it the author uses here the epithet “loud-mouthed guy”. He was swearing every time, and people sometimes made the impression that they even don’t hear him. Also, he...

The Gift of the Magi: Plot Summary

The Gift of the Magi is a well-known tale by American short story writer O. Henry (the penname of William Sydney Porter). The story first appeared in The New York Sunday World on December 10, 1905 and was later published in O. Henry's collection The Four Million on April 10, 1905.

 
O. Henry, a portrait by M. W. Vanderwayde, 1909

The story tells of a young married couple, James (Jim) and Della Dillingham. The couple has very little money and lives in a modest apartment. Between them they have two possessions that they consider their treasures: Jim's gold pocket watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's, and Della's lustrous, long hair that falls almost to her knees.

It's Christmas Eve, and Della finds herself running out of time to buy Jim a Christmas present. After paying all of the bills, all Della has left is $1.87 to put toward Jim's Christmas present. Desperate to find him the perfect gift, out she goes into the cold December day, looking in shop windows for something she can afford. She wants to buy Jim a chain for his pocket watch, but they're all out of her price range. Rushing home, Della pulls down her beautiful hair and stands in front of the mirror, admiring it and thinking. On a sudden inspiration, she rushes out again and cuts off her hair to sell. She gets $20.00, just enough to buy the platinum chain she'd seen in a shop window for $21.00.

When Jim comes home from work, he stares at Della, trying to figure out what's different about her, and she admits that she sold her hair to buy his present. Before she can give it to him, however, Jim casually pulls a package out of his overcoat pocket and hands it to her. Inside Della finds a pair of costly decorative hair combs that she'd long admired, but which are of course completely useless now that she's cut off her hair. Hiding her tears, she jumps up and holds out her gift for Jim: the watch-chain. Jim shrugs, flops down onto the old sofa, puts his hands behind his head and tells Della flatly that he sold his watch to buy her combs.

The story ends by comparing these gifts to the gifts that the Magi (or three wise-men) gave to the Baby Jesusin the manger in the biblical story of Christmas. The narrator concludes that Jim and Della are far wiser than the Magi, because their gifts are gifts of love, and those who give out of love and self-sacrifice are truly wise because they know the value of self-giving love.

Analysis: The Story's Theme and Moral

The Gift of the Magi is a classic example of irony in literature. Irony is a literary technique in which an expectation of what is supposed to occur differs greatly from the actual outcome. In this case, Jim and Della each sacrifice their most treasured possessions so the other can fully enjoy theirs; Jim sells his watch to buy Della's combs, expecting her to be able to use them, and Della sells her hair to buy Jim's watch-chain. Neither expects the other to have made that sacrifice. The irony here works both on this practical level and on a deeper more sentimental level. Both Della and Jim buy each other a gift that ultimately seems financially foolish. Being poor they can't afford to waste money on things they can't use. However, what they get is something they don't expect: a more intangible gift in the reminder of how much they love each other and are willing to sacrifice to make each other happy.

cover Art, The Gift of the Magi, 1905

The story's setting at Christmas time makes it a popular story for the holiday season. Its major theme is wisdom versus foolishness. Both Jim and Della behave impulsively, sacrificing their greatest treasures without thinking about the consequences and thinking only of making one another happy. From an entirely practical perspective, this doesn't make much sense because they can't enjoy the gifts that are supposed to make them happy. Jim and Della are thinking about the present moment and the material

 

 


Date: 2016-01-14; view: 915


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