A Secret for Two by Quentin Reynolds

Topics: Narrative, Narrative mode, Milk Pages: 11 (3999 words) Published: February 16, 2011
Mardari Tatiana Romanian-English, II group, third year

A secret for two
by Quentin Reynolds Text Analysis The text is included in belle-letters as it doesn’t follow a rigid structure, terminological lexemes or other norms imposed by functional styles. It belongs to emotive prose as the author uses the language of fiction and directs his work to the achievement of aesthetic and cognitive function. So, the narrative code is present here and the work itself is a short story: •Short - Can usually be read in one setting (it presents a general picture of Pierre Dupin’s life; some characters ― Pierre Dupin, horse Joseph, Jacques, episodic: president, driver, doctor; it has small proportions: about 1025 words); •Concise: Information offered in the story is relevant to the tale being told (the narrator don’t escape from the main plot); •Usually tries to leave behind a single impression or effect (The story is built around one character ― Pierre Dupin, place ― Montreal, idea ― a good work is achieved by those who really find common ground); Going deeper to the pre-textual level, we can detect: the title constitutes a nominal syntagm which is compound from a secret – a noun, and for two – a numeral (it requests two people). Usually, a secret is kept by a single person but here we have a secret shared by two. Secret - something that should remain hidden from others (especially information that is not to be passed on), and it requests info, information - a message received and understood, and confidence - a secret that is confided or entrusted to another. The syntagm deals with human reality and it implies the consciousness and the spiritual sphere of human being. The title follows the orientative function: it gives general impressions about what will happen and what we should discover, it gives hidden hints; the informative function: we should find out something, the text tells something about two person; the pragmatic function: it rises reader’s interest as a secret usually is kept by one person but this secret is shared by two, and you think … a secret for two…what is the secret? Who are they? ― you long for finding out something…

At the beginning the narrator places the action in a concrete place: in Montreal (a city in Canada), on Prince Edward Street (actually, it is a prospect nowdays). The time is not defined: it happens in the period when horses and wagons were used to carry and deliver milk. In the centre Pierre Dupin is placed. The narrator concretizes: he had delivered the milk to the families on the street for thirty years (that’s the prologue). Time passes; Pierre and Joseph are getting old. The president encourages him to go to retirement but he refuses (conflict). They continue to deliver milk (development of the action). But comes a cold day when the horse dies (climax). Pierre gets into a shock, he refuses to work any more (limited of the action). The deep grief doesn’t let him hear the wagon’s signals. He is killed instantly. The doctor states the man has been blind for at least five years (outcome). This was the secret kept by Pierre and his horse. Now analysing deeper the intra-textual level I detect 6 major narrative blocks. Each block is characterized by internal semantic and structural unity. I. First narrative block:

,,Montreal is a very large city. Like all Large cities, it has small streets. Streets, for

example, Like Prince Edward Street ― only four blocks Long. No one knew Prince Edward Street as well as Pierre Dupin. He had delivered milk to the families on the street for thirty years.”

This paragraph presents the place (Montreal, Prince Edward Street) and introduces the main character (Pierre Dupin). It is composed of 5 sentences: 3 sentences comprise descriptive elements (lage city, small streets, four blocks Long), other 2 ― narrative elements (knew Prince Edward Street, He had delivered milk). This part is a perfect example of textual coherence: the linguistic side of coherence is insured...
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