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General Analysis of Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat"

By Justin25i Mar 13, 2011 757 Words
General analysis of the story entitled “Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel’s coat”

I am going to analyse the story entitled “Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel’s coat”. It was written by the American writer whose name is Roald Dahl. This story was written in a matter-of-fact style by means of the third person narration. The author doesn’t participate in this story, but he knows all the events. The story combines the elements of both: narration and dialogue. The author makes ample use of dialogue in this story. We cannot date this story exactly, but there are several place and time markers in the story. So we can surely detect that the story takes place in New York due to the words of the author and the literary period of time is winter due to the following words: “Christmas present”, “mink coat”. The plot of the story is unfolded around the Bixby family, so the story opens with the description of this family. The author from the very start lays bare that Mrs. Bixby has a lover whom she constantly visits in Baltimore. Also the reader is informed that her husband has no idea about this. Then the events of the story are developed swiftly. In the complication the reader informed that Mrs. Bixby got a mink coat from her lover Colonel as a farewell gift. Further the story provides us with the information that she didn’t know how to appear in front of her husband in this coat. So she decided to hand this coat in to the pawnbroker for fifty dollars, explaining it by the fact that she’d lost her purse and she needed money. But the fact was that she demanded the pawn-ticket which had no name and no address in order to say her husband that she had found it on the back seat of the taxi. The starting point of culmination was when Mrs. Bixby’s husband phoned her and announced that he had got that thing from the pawnbroker’s and that she had to come up to his office to see it. Also he added that the thing was exactly for her. A well-defined beginning and a series of closely connected events lead to the culminating point of the text, so the peak of the climax was when Mrs. Bixby saw that her husband took not that mink coat from the pawnbroker’s but just a mink neckpiece. The climax produces a powerful affect upon the reader. It creates a peak of growing tension of action. In the denouement Mrs. Bixby saw her mink coat put on her husband’s assistant. The plot is well-constructed and skilfully developed. The defining of the theme of this story doesn’t require much effort. This is a typical disloyal and its consequences in relationships between wife and husband. There are two main characters in the story. Character creation is achieved in many various ways. Mrs. Bixby by means of direct characterization, we understand that Mrs. Bixby is energetic, cheerful and very strong woman due to the following epithet: “She was full of life.” Also she is characterized through her actions and feelings. When she got farewell present from the Colonel we have the opportunity to understand that she loves nobody except herself, and that she has a tinge of selfishness. This understanding comes to reader due to the following words: “I’ve lost one thing, but gained another.” Mr. Bixby is depicted indirectly. Through the words of his wife: “You’ve fooled him before. The man has never been understand very much apart of his business.” we perceive him as a foolish and absent-minded person. The connection of the title with the story can be clearly seen. Moreover the title is enriched by the story. The main idea of the story lays on the surface and may be summed up in the following words: Do not think that you are the smartest and the brightest person in the world. The story is free of abstract terms; all the words are used in their direct and concrete meaning. The style of the story is setting an example of simplicity, clarity and proportion. The language used in this story reminds me everyday style of communication due to a number of used colloquialisms. Also the style of the story produces a strong impression upon the reader, both from the point of view f its content and from the point of view of its form of narration.

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