Newton Analysis

Topics: Thermodynamics, Heat, Entropy Pages: 2 (763 words) Published: February 4, 2009

Jeanette Winterson’s Newton describes the isolation of her “stranger”, Tom. In Newton, Winterson uses imagery to show Tom’s differences in contrast to those of his neighbors. Tom’s conflict lies between his neighbor and he due to the way he doesn’t fit in. Winterson adds in Albert Camus L’Étranger in which Camus’ character, Meursault, finds himself a stranger in his own society.

Winterson begins her story with an almost nursery rhyme like poem; “This is the story of Tom.
This is the story of Tom and his neighbors.
This is the story of Tom and his neighbors in his neighbor’s garden. This is the story of Tom.”
The latter attracts attention to Tom being the main character and shows that his neighbor is also important to his story. She continues into the story by adding what Tom says and thinks; he states that his neighbors are like Classical Physicists and they follow sequential lives. They all rise at 7am, leave for work at 8am, and the women have coffee at 10am. Winterson then becomes very artistic with her work and Tom continues to explain the sequence, “If you see a body on the street in between 1pm and 2pm, it can only be the doctor, it can only be the undertaker, and it can only be the stranger. I am the stranger.” This explains that Tom is the only one that stands out, or the “stranger”. Winterson’s use of “it can only be” enhances Tom’s isolation amongst everyone in the town of Newton.

Tom considers his neighbors to be scientific with no room for flexibility, such as a work of art, which is what Tom could be considered as. The very first law of Thermodynamics is introduced with “You cannot transfer heat from a colder to a hotter.” In this case, Tom’s neighbors are the colder, and he the hotter. It explains the distance and coldness of his neighbors and their incapacity of feeling Tom’s warmth.

Tom is very unlike his neighbors. His neighbor is against entropy, the evolution of uniformity, this is the second law of Thermodynamics....
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