Analysis of Lucky Jim: Pg. 207-209
In this passage from Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis, Amis tries to develop Dixon’s character to show a different side of him, portraying to the reader that he is not the weak character who is unable to stand up for himself due to his place in society, like he was originally portrayed. It finally shows Dixon breaking free of the shackles that society imposes on him and rising up and speaking out on how he feels, rather than hiding away and playing by the rules that are forced upon him.
Amis uses short sentences and creates a fast pace to convey the confrontational and aggressive mood of the passage. The conversation between Dixon and Bertrand is direct and to the point with the use of emotive and, at times, offensive language. For instance, Bertrand uses phrases like ‘your so called mind’ and ‘you dirty little bar-fly, you nasty little jumped up turd’. In between the speech Amis is a great observer of human movement and highlights the tension between the two men with the language he uses and the use of short sentences, for example ‘Dixon moved a pace nearer’ and ‘he clenched his fists’ and ‘the impact had hurt them rather’. Amis describes Bertrand’s breath as ‘whistling through his nose’ which accurately depicts the image of someone beginning to get irate.
Throughout the passage, out of the two men, Dixon is depicted as more in control and powerful than Bertrand even though being the lesser build of the two men. Bertrand says to Dixon ‘you’re simply not up to my weight. If you want a fight pick someone your own size, then you might stand a chance.’ Dixon, by his response, is clearly not threatened by this at all. It could be seen as an empty threat because Bertrand does not expect Dixon to retaliate, but rather simply just to back down considering their positions. Undeterred by the physical threats, Dixon moves ‘a pace nearer’ and unleashes an articulate and fast moving annihilation of Bertrand’s character; ‘you’re a...
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