Analysis of the Text “the Time-Sweepers” by Ursula Wills-Jones

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  • Topic: Time, Time Inc., 2007 singles
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  • Published : March 31, 2013
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Analysis of the text “The Time-Sweepers”
By Ursula Wills-Jones
The following short story is about time-sweepers and lost time. They are people who sweep up all the time that is lost or wasted. They are invisible, but sometimes they can be noticed. They carry a broom, a mop and a big dustpun. The time-sweepers are hard-working. They work every day and are never sick. The lost and wasted time is packed and recycled. But not every type of time can be recycled, the most poisoned time is buried in a tank underneath a disused army base. The rest of the time can be sold to the people who need it or distributed to good causes or emergency situations. The full text is built on the conflict between people who waste time and people who sweep up all the time that is lost and wasted. Ursula Wills-Jones idealizes the time-sweepers and ridicules people. The author uses the stylistic device of climax in order to describe different types of time wasting: the man who has waited so long to propose to his girlfriend; the woman who has spent thirty-five loathed years in an estate agents, dreaming of opening a florists. The author refers to the stylistic device of hyperbole in order to laugh at the people who waste time: the time-sweeper will pass straight by the desk of the woman who is reading a holiday catalogue under the desk, poring over photos of tropical beaches. They will pass by the next desk, where a man is enjoyably wondering what his mother-in-law looks like naked, and stop by the desk of the young man who is counting every minute, and loathing the hours. The author creates a constant presence of time sweepers. The reader feels that they are everywhere: in the railway station, in the office, at your desk. The time-sweepers are hard-working; they don’t like to rest because there is so mush wasted time after holidays: it takes them around three weeks to resume normal service…
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