The text under analysis is written by an outstanding British novelist and short story writer Hector Munro who is better known by the pen name Saki. He was brought up during his childhood, with his elder brother and sister, by a grandmother and two aunts. I can’t describe their relationship as real one, those which has got any normal family. So such upbringing influenced into the author’s character. At his stories he satirized things that he hated. By the way, the character of the aunt in one of his stories is Aunt Augusta to the life.
She was such a person who should be (as the author said) the last one in charge of children. Munro was killed on the French front during the First World War. The title of the story is “The Lumber Room”. This heading is absolutely thought-provoking, intriguing and misleading. What is a lumber room for us? It’s such a place where there are a lot of old, unnecessary things which you don’t want to through away. It’s something mystery, horrible place for adults. That is also the place where they do not want to stay for a long time. And it is forbidden place for children. But why?
It is incomprehensible for child’s curiosity. Let’s just remember ourselves when we were children. Everything was interested for us, including a lumber room. But when we become older we forget about that and it’s a pity. The story presents extremely topical subjects. Actually, the whole novel can be divided into two parts: Child’s world and Adult’s world. The main idea is to show the readers that you should never bring up children like she did. If you would like to see alive, kind, happy, optimistic and so on person you should let the child gets acquainted with the world.
It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep an eye on your child but you shouldn’t just lose all sense of fun, imagination. You should also be on the one level with your pupil but be more predictable. So the story tells about a little orphan Nicholas who was trusted to his tyrannical and dull-witted aunt. One day Nicholas was “in disgrace”, so he duped his Aunt into believing that he was somehow trying to get into the gooseberry garden, but instead had no intention of doing so but did sneak into the Lumber Room.
There a tremendous picture of a hunter and a stag opened to him. Soon his aunt tried to look for the boy and slipped into the rain-water tank. She asked Nicholas to fetch her ladder but the boy pretended not to understand her, he said that she was the Evil One. The contextual type of the text is presented by author’s narration, description and dialogues. The story is narrated in the 3rd person. This allows the reader to access the situation and the characters in an unbiased and objective manner. This is especially so because the characters are complex, having both positive and negative viewpoints. The third person point of view is impersonal which fits the impersonal atmosphere of the household.
Dialogues which are in the text are long and informative and sentences also are long and complex. The author’s choice of vocabulary and stylistic devices is admirable. The author uses a large variety of stylistic devices, such as epithets, which can be divided into two categories: those, which are related to Child’s world (grim chuckle, alleged frog, unknown land, stale delight, mere material pleasure, bare and cheerless, thickly growing vegetation) and the one, which depicts a Grown-up’s world lacking any clear thinking (frivolous ground, veriest nonsense, considerable obstinacy, trivial gardening operation, unauthorized intrusion).
They help the author to emphasize a deep dissension between generations, to convey a thrilling power of child’s creative mind. There are a lot of metaphors in the story: a circus of unrivalled merit and uncounted elephants (to lay stress on the Aunt’s narrow-mindness), the flawlessness of the reasoning, self-imposed sentry-duty (characterizes the Aunt as a very strict person), art of fitting keys into keyholes and turning locks, region that was so carefully sealed from youthful eyes, many golden minutes of a ridiculously short range.
With the help of these stylistic means the offer unfolds a theme in which stupidity, moral degradation, hypocrisy and ambition play their sorry parts. There are some similes in the text: Bobby won’t enjoy himself much, and he won’t race much either; the aunt-by-assertion (The author uses Nicholas’ own word choice to show that he does not accept his aunt’s authority over him. ) and some periphrases: the Evil One, the prisoner in the tank. (These devices provide author’s irony and essential clue to the character).
The author also enriches the story with a device of hyperbole: How did she howl. The following stylistic devices contribute to the expressiveness of the text. The charm of this story lies in its interesting plot and exciting situation. The problem between adults and children are one of the age-long topics. It’s evident that all it’s taken from his own experience. I like his way of writing. I think it should be one of those books which people who took care of children used to read as more often as they can. It will help them do not forget that they were children too.
Courtney from Study Moose
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