Analysis of "On the day that E.M. Forster died" by A.S. Byatt"

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The text I would like to analyze is “On the day that E.M. Forster died” written by A.S. Byatt. Dame Antonia Susan Duffy, DBE, known as A. S. Byatt is an English novelist, poet and Booker Prize winner. In 2008, The Times newspaper named her on its list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. This text is social genre because the author describe social, professional spheres of life with the help of such vocabulary as: art, novel, plots and so on.

The types of writing are narration and digression.

The basic theme is I think love of writing.
The by-theme are relation in the family, love to art.

The tone of the text is objective because the story is given in the third person singular. Let me analyze the composition of the story. The story has a title “On the day that E.M. Forster died”. The exposition of the story starts with date and describing place of event (on a summer day in 1970; London Library).

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The beginning starts when she sat and wrote about her ideas. The development proper is number of ideas Mrs Smith. “She could have said at any time that of course all her ideas were part of a whole, they were all hers, limited by her history, sex, language, class, education, body and energy”. This text hasn’t climax and denouement. The ending starts when “she put pen to paper then, and noted the connections she saw between the disparate plots, the developments that seemed so naturally to come to all of them”.

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I am going to analyze main character of the story Mrs Smith.

She had written three brief and elegant black comedies about folly and misunderstanding in sexual relationships, she had sparred with and loved her husband, who was deeply interested in international politics and the world economy, and only intermittently interested in novels. She had three children, who were interested in the television, small animals, model armies, other small children, the sky, death and occasional narratives and paintings . She had a cleaning lady, who was interested in wife-battery and diabetes and had that morning opened a button-through dress to display to Mrs Smith a purple and chocolate and gold series of lumps and swellings across her breasts and belly. Mrs Smith's own life made no sense to her without art, but she was disinclined to believe in it as a cure, or a duty, or a general necessity.

Nor did she see the achievement of the work of art as a paradigm for the struggle for life, or virtue. She had somehow been inoculated with it, in the form of the novel, before she as a moral being had had anything to say to it. It was an addiction . The bright books of life were the shots in the arm, the warm tots of whisky which kept her alive and conscious and lively. Life itself was related in complicated ways to this addiction. She often asked herself , without receiving any satisfactory answer, why she needed it, and why this form of it? The method of characterization is direct. the main character is static. In this part the author uses such stylistic devices such as changes type (Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), metaphor (wife – battery), epithets (early childhood), hyperbole (huge sums of money), rhetorical question (Why else be so afraid of the bright books?).

Updated: Jul 06, 2022
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Analysis of "On the day that E.M. Forster died" by A.S. Byatt". (2016, May 30). Retrieved from

Analysis of "On the day that E.M. Forster died" by A.S. Byatt" essay
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