English Commentary- Maiden Voyage

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The prescribed passage, Maiden Voyage from Denton Welch’s novel is rich in action and suspense. Several literary devices are employed by the author to create such an appealing effect.
The first person narrative is introduced in the first line of this passage and is very important throughout the prose, especially when the protagonist encounters the decapitated head. The narrative style enhances the sensations of utter surprise and horror by describing the experience in a more personal viewpoint. Simple descriptions such as “I stared into its raw eye-sockets until waves of sickness spread over me. Then I ran’’ enhances the disgust of the scene for the reader, and such feelings can only by the protagonist, which is why first-person view-point is made very effective here.

The setting plays a big role in this passage, especially in the lines leading up the climax point of discovering the head. Welch describes everything as being ‘’still and silent,’’ and along with the aid of the line ‘’ Harsh spears of grass stuck up through the sand. The soles of my shoes began to burn and I looked round vainly for some shady place.,’’ the reader begins to envision a serene but hot afternoon setting, although this slowly alters towards the eerie when it is revealed that the wind is the only sound. It gives the impression that as if the place is deserted.

Mr Welch also spends considerable time describing the setting of the house that the protagonist was staying in before leaving to venture outside. There is sense of confinement as if the protagonist is trapped in the house and is being held back against his own will thus the word – ‘’imprisonment,’’ .The contents of the house is simple for example ‘’moth-eaten’’ worn out balls and the “old tennis racket” were the only objects lying in the hall for entertainment. The sombre setting as described by Mr Welch would allow the reader to understand the ardent desire of the protagonist to leave the villa and explore the...
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