“The Way Up to Heaven” by Roald Dahl
“The Way Up to Heaven” by Roald Dahl
The short story that I chose to be the subject of my literature analysis is “The Way Up to Heaven”,written by the famous author named Roald Dahl. In my opinion,Roald Dahl wanted to convey that marriage was supposedly being built by having tolerance and understanding as its base.Its the other other way round when it comes to the Foster’s in the short story.This short story was simply about Mr. Foster who loved to make her wife,Mrs.Foster suffering by delaying time knowingly that his spouse has a pathological fear of being late. The story went on as Mrs.Foster started to realize this bad habit of her husband. As for the theme of this short story,I strongly felt that it is flawless revenge.This theme applies to Mrs. Foster.At first,she refused to believe the thought that her husband might purposely torture her but those thoughts vanished until this one time,when Mr.Foster told her that he left the present for their daughter inside the house.She then found the present being pushed deep inside the seat.Knowing that fact, Mrs.Foster offered herself to unlocked the main door instead of the chauffeur as an excuse that she was faster.
When Roald wrote,”Yes-quite obviously she was listening.Her whole attitude was a listening one.She appeared actually to be moving one of her ears closer and closer to the door.Now it was right up against the door, and for still another few seconds she remained in that position,head up,ear to door,hand on key,about to enter but not entering,trying instead,or so it seemed, to hear to analyse these sounds that were coming faintly from this place deep within the house”,it appeared to me that Mrs.Foster is actually making sure that Mr.Foster is trapped as she listened to the sounds she tried so hard to analyse.As for the faint sounds,I have the impression that it was actually came from Mr.Foster.In that way only Mrs.Foster is convinced that her husband was trapped.The fact that she was already late,it occured to me that Mrs.Foster put on a facade that she was still feeling anxious by urging the chauffeur,but the changes in her expression told me the opposite way.Like what is written in the short story,”The little mouth,usually so flabby,was now tight and thin,the eyes were bright and the voice,when she spoke,carried a new note of authority”.
Moving on to the character analysis,the main character in “The Way Up to Heaven” is Mrs.Foster.Mrs. Foster is exposed in the story as an old married woman who has a pathological fear of being late and if she began to have the thought of being late,her left eye will began to twitch involuntarily.Her anxiety also being portrayed in particular behaviours as the author mentioned in the story,”…being quite unable to sit down,she would flutter and fidget about from room to room..”. Throughout this story I could see that Mrs.Foster is actually a woman constrained in a marriage.I happened to have that thought as the story take a turn when Mrs.Foster actually locked her husband,Mr.Foster for six weeks inside the house and the changes in Mrs.Foster’s behaviour after that incident also bring me to surprise that she was nothing like the old-anxious woman anymore as,”When the six weeks were up,everybody was sad that she had to return to America,to her husband.
Everybody,that is,except her”.When Mrs. Foster had it confirmed that her premonition was true,the statement,”…there was a little glimmer of satisfaction on her face”,it implied to me that Mrs.Foster actually felt that she was finally free from any restraints with the death of Mr.Foster. Next is the antagonist of “The Way Up to Heaven”,which is Mr.Foster.Mr.Foster is a husband that enjoyed the feeling of tormenting his own wife by taking up his own sweet time,increasing the anxiety of Mrs. Foster.Mr.Foster finally caught in the act when Mrs.Foster found out about the present that was hidden purposely in the car, in order to delay her time to reach the airport.This happened as Mr.Foster went back inside the house to search for it as a facade. This story takes place in New York City,on East Sixty-second Street,in a large six-storey house.This short story also takes place in the airport and in France,while the time setting is in January.
It all started with a problematic married couple known as Mr. and Mrs. Foster.Mrs.Foster has a pathological fear of being late,up until a certain point her left eye will began to twitch unconsciously.The problems came when Mr.Foster himself loved to drag time in many important event despite knowing the anxiety his wife had.The story went as Mrs.Foster wanted to visit their daughter and grandchildren in France.That morning before they went to the airport,the household was busy.And as usual, Mr.Foster made Mrs.Foster suffered by taking his time.Mrs.Foster was really anxious about missing the flight as she had tried so hard to persuade her husband to allow her to go.Even though Mrs.Foster made it in time,the flight was postponed to the next morning at eleven. The next morning,the very same thing happened as Mr.Foster delayed the time by when Mr.Foster actually left the present he meant to give to their daughter,Ellen inside the house,or so it seemed.Mrs.Foster then found out that the particular present was actually being hid in the seat of the car,explaining the whole thing to her in a flash.
When Mrs.Foster was about to unlock the door as Mr.Foster was trapped,she actually made sure the sounds that she heard was the sounds she wanted to hear.In the end,she never unlock the door and went straight to the airport leaving Mr.Foster locked inside the house for six weeks.She really enjoyed her stay in France as if she finally felt freedom and she also did write letters to her husband during her trip as if nothing happened.And by the time she went back to America,it was like everything went as she wished as there was no one fetch her at the airport,the scattered bunch of mails and also the curious odour in the air when she stepped into the house.Then,she calmly called the maintenance man to repair the broken lift knowing the reason why it would actually stuck. In “The Way Up to Heaven”,the literary devices that can be found is irony.In the story,Mr.Foster behaviour when he went to look for the present can be said as irony as his attitude was totally opposite to his talking.
Other than that,it is also ironic that the death of Mr.Foster is actually being described through the condition of the household the moment Mrs.Foster went in.The act of Mr.Foster that dismissed all their servants can also be considered as ironic.I only noticed that when mentioned in the story as Mrs.Foster questioned the need of having Walker,the butler and Mr.Foster refused the idea as he actually wanted to save up his money. Another literary devices that I discovered is soliloquy.This literary device applied to Mrs.Foster as she often waited in anxiety.It occcured as she grunted and wandered around waiting for Mr.Foster,”Now I really will miss it”,she cried.”Oh I wish he would come!”.
This ensued every time Mr.Foster torment her. As a short story,”The Way Up to Heaven” really satisfies me a whole lot.The plot of the story really drive people to go on reading.The way Roald Dahl wrote leaving us the reader to feel free in thinking on what reason that may drive the poor Mrs.Foster to actually murdered her husband without any earlier plans is really favourable to me.All I can see is a husband that thought he has the ultimate authority in controlling his wife and a wife that can’t help feeling restricted in everything she done with the presence of her spouse.