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Commentary of a Passage Taken from " the Comfort of the Strangers "

Categories: The Stranger

The passage taken from “The Comfort of Strangers “by Ian McEwan essentially describes the want of two sisters Eva and Maria to look beautiful and furthermore the denial of their parents towards the girls’ desires. It is written in the third person i.e. the omniscient. The passage conveys few symbols: Beauty through the want of the sisters to look gorgeous ie. lipsticks, mascaras make up etc. , The truth and honesty through the confession of the boy.

Owing to the fact that, when cosmetics are used they don’t illustrate the true face or beauty of the person they also symbolize the deceptiveness of appearances.

The main centralized theme in this passage is deception. The girls lay trust on their brother for not disclosing whatever they did in the absence of the elders. But, conversely, we see that the boy divulges every action of his sisters.

Furthermore, there are a couple of primary themes: childishness in the first paragraph and tension of the girls that their parents would return soon.

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We see that passage gradually passes from the afternoon to later in the afternoon and then to the dinner. So, it is chronological. The passage, when observed started with an exclamation and a question as well. “So! Did my sisters hate me?” – This paints a picture of the dubiousness, the author is having about whether his sisters in the future will lay trust on him or not. The Speaker in the passage is Robert – the young brother of the teen girls.

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At first he seems to be tranquil characters – moving comfortably with his sisters. But in the last part we observe a friction developed between him and his sisters.

This passage can be humorous to the audience especially to kids who do not have any kind of desires as such of the sisters mentioned in the passage. The way the sisters have been cheated can be funny. In contrary to the humour, the passage can also generate a sense of discontent in the reader’s mind as the sisters had been cheated and their actions have been disclosed which they wish for. The passage is set in house. The situation in the first can be said to normal as elements of love and relationship can be observed. Ironically , as the day advances into the afternoon and into the evening a large variance is observed. The tension of the girls and the seriousness when they are blamed can be discerned.

Along with this sad atmosphere created when the girls are blamed , when the first part is carefully swot up it can be noticed that a pleasant mood is indicated. Initially, in the passage, we see that the author uses they, them and their frequently. Hence repetition is observed. In the later part the author addresses the sisters to look like American film stars, thus using metaphor. The whole passage can create empathy in the minds of the readers – especially in adult girls towards the two sisters. ¶As a consequence there are a lot of images produced in the reader’s mind.

The girls waving their arms in the air to dry their nails and the metaphorical image – Girls addressed as the American film stars. Imagery, especially in this passage explains the frame or the situation much more in detail. Every action returns to its source – it may take very short time or even aeons . The confession had alienated the author from his sisters. His actions left him pondering whether his sisters will again lay trust on him in the future.

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Commentary of a Passage Taken from " the Comfort of the Strangers ". (2016, Apr 09). Retrieved from

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