А ВIT OF SINGING AND DANCING

Topics: Short story, Fiction, Character Pages: 1 (659 words) Published: June 15, 2014
12 А ВIT OF SINGING AND DANCING
The text extract under analysis comes from the short story А ВIT OF SINGING AND DANCING written by Susan Hill. The author is known as a British short story writer, novelist, playwright and critic. Her novels include The Woman in Black, The Mist in the Mirror and I'm the King of the Castle for which she received the Somerset Maugham Award in 1971. The extract describes the feelings of guilt and confusion of the main character Esme Fanshow after her mother’s death. The basic theme is the consequence of the attitude of a despotic mother to her caring but infantile daughter after the death of the former. The central idea of the whole story is that excessive parental control and tyranny ruin people’s lives. From the point of view of presentation the text is a mixture of narration and description, the 3rd person narrative with some insertions of direct speech and flashbacks to the past. The plot is simple. It centres around Esme’s memories about her mother and simultaneously around her new life after the mother’s death. Bedridden Mrs. Fenshou was a very domineering and moody woman who had never been interested in her daughter’s needs and wishes and took her devotion for granted. After her mother’s death Esme felt free at last without any obligations and duties. It is unusual for her to be able to take decisions independently She could choose herself, what to eat, when to go to bed, what television program to watch. But at the same time emptiness, uncertainty and guilt settled in her soul. The setting of the events is realistic. The tone of the piece of literature is sympathetic, dramatic and even bitter; it is aimed at evoking the sense of being a witness of confused moral feelings of the main character. The characterization of Esme Fenshou is achieved with a number of stylistic devices, for example, on syntactical level we can find repetition “She thought, I can stay out here just as long as I like, I can do anything I choose,...
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