Home - Crichton Smith

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Mr Jackson is a character that I find very interesting in the short story “Home”. Written by Iain Crichton Smith “Home” is a story about a couple, who after emigrating to Africa, come to visit Glasgow, their old home. After a while they realise that Glasgow is not their home anymore, and find themselves in a five star hotel where they feel much more comfortable. I intend to explore how Crichton Smith uses setting, dialogue and characterisation to intensify the themes of isolation and greed, that make the character of Mr Jackson so interesting.

The setting of “Home” is important to the appeal of Mr Jackson as the contrast between the man and his surroundings give key insight into his character. “Drew up outside the brown tenement… Somebody has written in chalk the words YA BASS” The author describes the tenements as brown which the reader interprets as a connotation of poverty and dirt, which casts an interesting contrast to Mr Jackson himself who arrived driving a “black polished car” and wearing a “square red ring”. The words “polished” and “red ring” indicate wealth and pride, even though he seems proud to come from such a poor area. “He looked up at the tenement with the cheerful animation of one who had left it.” Jackson comes across as friendly to the reader at the beginning of the story but as it progresses we see a nastier side to him. He goes from being nostalgic, reflecting on stories of his youth “Do you mind old Hannah?” to being aggressive and insulting to his wife telling her “You didn’t even have proper table manners when I met you?”. It seems to the reader that this is because his wife does not share the pleasure that he has in looking around their old home. The change in Mr Jackson and the contrast between him and his surroundings are two of the factors which make Mr Jackson an interesting character.

The dialogue in “Home” also highlights many interesting points in Mr Jackson. One of these is The use of contrast, a...
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