Text analysis of “The little stranger” by Sarah Waters
“The Little Stranger” is a 2009 gothic novel written by Sarah Waters. It is a ghost story set in a dilapidated mansion in Warwickshire, England in the 1940s. This novel features a male narrator, a country doctor who makes friends with a family with faded fortunes left simply with a very old estate that is crumbling around them. The stress of reconciling the state of their finances with the familial responsibility of keeping the estate coincides with perplexing events which may or may not be of supernatural origin, culminating in tragedy. Reviewers note that the themes in “The Little Stranger” are alternately reflections of evil and the social upheaval of the class system in postwar Britain. Waters stated that she did not set out to write a ghost story, but began her writing with an exploration of the rise of socialism in the United Kingdom and how the fading gentry dealt with losing their legacies. The setting of the extract under analysis is laid at the British countryside house. It is expressed by such spatial markers as window, curtain, door . The temporal markers are both direct and indirect. The action takes place in the evening. The protagonist is a country doctor. He has been invited to a soiree at Hundreds Hall, one of the remaining gentrified estates. The lady of the house has invited a few other landed families, even though the house itself is falling into disrepair because the family cannot afford its upkeep. One of the families, the "new kids on the block," so to speak, brought their daughter, Gillian, who is probably somewhere between 5 and 8. The scene in question is a few hours into the gathering, during which everyone assembled has realized that this group of people are not particularly destined to become close friends. Only slightly later, Gyp does indeed lash out at Gillian, tearing her cheek badly. The doctor takes her downstairs to the kitchen (and hot water) and...
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