The Etching

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Interpretation of the text “The Etching” by Sir Hugh Seymour Walpole Hugh Seymour Walpole (1884-1941) was an English novelist. A prolific writer, he published thirty-six novels, five volumes of short stories, two plays and three volumes of memoirs. His skill at scene-setting, his vivid plots, his high profile as a lecturer and his driving ambition brought him a large readership in the United Kingdom and North America. A best-selling author in the 1920s and 1930s, his works have been neglected since his death.

The title of the story tells us about the main object in it. The etching became a cause to breaking a marriage. It’s its direct meaning. Indirect one shows that just a picture can be a motive to separating of married couple that are too different to be together.

The writer gives us a realistic presentation of impossibility of two different people living together and building some kind of relationship even of long one. It’s too difficult to live with a man or a woman whom you don’t love and it’s impossible to keep a man next to you because “You can take a horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink.”

The text represents a narration about a married couple of the Gabriels. Florence Gabriel was too «bossy», possessive to her husband Billy. She tried to take control over her husband, to prevent him making his own decisions. He simply adored her. One day he saw the etching which struck him so much and he bought it without his wife’s permission. It irritated her greatly. Being furiously, she took one of the etching and thorn it into a hundred pieces. At the end of the story the family that seemed to be happy was ruined. Ignoring France’s tears and request’s he left her forever.

The author gives us a detailed description of characters. Mr. Gabriel was a large, four-square genial red-faced, grey-haired woman with bright blue eyes and a hearty laugh. But she was too «bossy» to her husband. While reading we can understand she did it because she was...
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