Bad Blood clearly consists of many themes, and a clear form and use of language can be seen throughout. This essay sets out to critically explore the themes and form of the set extract.
Lorna Sage frequently uses language to reflect her subject matter. During her childhood Sage discovers books through her Grandfather. The books Grandpa introduces to her consist of fantasy books, allowing her to retreat into her imagination. Books such as Rupert Bear, Captain Blood, Tarzan, Alice' (Sage p.90). When talking of the countryside, the gristle and barbed wire of the actual country' (Sage p.125), it could be said that this language is used to create images in your own imagination, to allow you to see exactly what it is Sage sees. She seems very aware that the countryside lacks the pastoral qualities that her mother imagines. She is critical of it, and uses language to convey her opinion. Despite her love for the adventure books of her youth, it seems that Sage is still very aware of the harsh realities of life, despite her dramatic language reflecting her childhood books, she seems to observe things in a critically realistic way.
Sage later talks of her lack of fusion with her parents. She talks of herself being an unwanted child who's sent out to lose herself in the forest' (Sage p.127). Sage is perhaps using language from a fairy story. Glamorising her isolation by way of her writing technique, her use of adjectives being her tool. She also describes Mr Palmer as a beaming ogre', as if a character from such a story.
There are several themes that seem significant in particular in this extract. Isolation and acceptance, both in society and within the family, inheritance and parenting, gender, and the countryside and the ideologies behind it.
Sage refers to her mother as a devotee of pastoral prettiness' (Sage p.125). The idea of pastoral prettiness could in some respects be seen as make believe. Of singing songs, running around the countryside falling in...
Bibliography: Sage, Lorna 2001, Bad Blood, Fourth Estate, London.
The English Review Volume 4. Critical Idiom. Pastoral.
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