Rachel Gould “Thucydides”
Let me present to you my interpretation of the short story by Rachel Gould for my home-reading classes. Rachel Gould is a young journalist who is now gaining recognition for her short stories. The title of this short story is “Thucydides”. It is indirect in its meaning because this story is not about this historian; instead of it may be any title. It is simply a reason why the main character’s mind has changed. His personality has had a great influence on her. The actions take place in Swansea, England. The main character is a 17-year-old girl. As every teenager, she has problems: she is not confident and has boy problems. She likes to read Thucydides’s works in spite of the fact that there are very difficult to understand and very obscure. To describe her love-hate relationship with him the author uses absolutely opposite words: on the one hand, he is hellishly difficult; on the other hand, he is a fascinating man. Anyway he does her best to cope with his works and understand them. As a true teenager she refuses from her father’s help and does it by herself spending more time alone with books. It is very important to know Thucydides’s personality as well. He used inordinately long sentences and forgot half-way through quite what the structure of his sentence was, so it ended in a way which was totally contradictory to the beginning. He often made the history if he didn’t know something well enough and in details. The first person narration of this story helps us to see that the girl is under the great influence of this historian and all her thoughts are about him: the comparison- like Thucydides I shall leave smth out.; rhetorical questions –Why didn’t he correct himself afterwards. In general, we see that the author uses a lot of rhetorical questions and detached constructions in the speech of the main character in order to understand her inner world and her inner contradictions (challenges). We can notice in this story two thematic...
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