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Enoch’s two letters by Alan Sillitoe – analysis Essay

Enoch’s two letters is a short story by Alan Sillitoe, and it is about how a little boy is left alone by his parents. Because his father chooses to run away with another woman, only leaving a letter on the doormat. At the same time, his mother has had it with her husband and decides to go live with her sister for a while. She also leaves a letter on the doormat. When Enoch return home from school that day, he finds himself all alone in the big empty house. On the one hand it is the biggest dream to be alone home for an 8-year-old boy, but on the other hand it can provoke fear. He keeps thinking that they will be back in any minute, but they don’t come so he has to stay all night in the house alone. The next day he’s still alone, so he decides to go to his grandmother in Netherfield. After explaining the grandmother the story, they return to the house. After a search around the house they find the two letters on the doormat.

Enoch is an 8-year-old boy, getting abandoned by his parents. At first he liked the idea of being alone in the house, because he was the boss of the house. He soon felt that he needed someone to take care of him, and that make him go to his grandmother’s house the following day. Enoch has a pale round face, ginger hair and has a streak of red toffee-stain across his mouth. Enoch has shown courage throughout the story, but in the moment he discover the two letters with his grandmother, he gets nervous and can only think of the worst: “thinking now that they where both dead for sure”.

Jack is selfish, he leave Enoch and Edna because he had an affair. Enda describes him as trustworthy, easy-going person who didn’t notice when somebody was upset, but when he did he accused that person of upsetting him.

Enda is also selfish, her plan was to live with her sister until she found a job and a room, so she could leave her family behind.

The relationship between Enda and Jack were very weak. They didn’t have anything in common, but never the less they had been married for 10 years. Enoch’s grandmother, and Enoch’s fathers mother, is caring and come. She takes everything slow and tries not to act prematurely, to keep Enoch come. Enoch seems very secure in his grandmothers company, so I think Jack, Enoch and the grandmother had a good bond, before Jack leaved everything.

Overall it’s a very scattered family; otherwise the parent wouldn’t have leaved everything. And especially their son, which the both are sure the other part would take care of, wend they leaved.

The setting of this story is approximately about the late 1950’s, in a house in Nottingham, United Kingdom. Enoch and his grandmother gets off the bus on Ilkeston Road, which is placed in Nottingham. The setting what relate to time, I’ve set to the late 1950’s, this is because the environment is explained as a bit old, but still a bit modern. When he finds out that he’s left alone, he doesn’t play the Xbox or watch TV. He is sitting in front of the gas stove, which indicates that the setting is a bit modern at the same time. The story is told by a third-person-narrator; the effect of this is that we can hear the thoughts of every character, and can see the story from different perspectives. And therefore know why Jack leaved, why Enda leaved and what Enoch feel about this saturation.

The theme of the story is that when a young boy is confronted with problems, they show more courage then the rest of us. The message is clear, it is important to coop with problems instead of just running away. In this case a little boy loses both his parents, and this could have been avoided if the parents had talked to each other, and had agreed to get a divorce instead of running away from the family and your problems.

This novel really reminds me of the movie home alone, because it also is about a little boy, about the same age, getting left alone. He gets fascinated of the idea to be the boss of the house, but also gets scared of it at the same time, just like Enoch does when he realizes that he’s alone. Throughout the movie he shows a lot of courage like Enoch, but in this case by scaring robbers away and living all by himself. Enoch’s two letters is a bit more realistic in its composition, but the main points are the same and there are a lot of parallels between the two stories.


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