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Analysis of Act 1 of 'Vernon God Little'

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Introduction

Sasha Groves AS English Literature Mrs Tate Act 1: Shit Happened Vernon ?God? Little plays the protagonist in the novel written by DBC Pierre; the author inhabiting a teenage mind. Vernon reflects the mindset of Pierre since a conventional teenage boy from the USA is accurately portrayed. Vernon is instantly introduced as a guilty man; ?I?m the first one they rounded up so far?, which suggests that he is a convict already guilty, and the phrase ?rounded up? has connotations of being animal like ? showing Vernon has no rights. Vernon has two personas throughout Act 1- comprised of his interior monologue and his exterior dialogue. This 1st person perspective narrative viewpoint shows us two sides of Vernon each with opposing thoughts and feelings. The exterior monologue ostensibly appears respectful, calm, and unimposing towards the other characters, only speaking when necessary. He complies with what he?s told to do and seems to accept what he?s told without retaliation, ?Yes ma?am?, ?no ma?am?. As a reader we learn Vernon?s true thoughts and feelings through his interior monologue ? we effectively live inside his head. Vernon feels so oppressed within Martirio that he is forced to suppress his true thoughts and only express them internally. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that Doris is very predictable ? Vernon?s put up with her inadequate behaviour for so long it?s become normal. Vernon also finds his mother very irritating, ?every fucken noise she makes she just gives it a turn? suggests that she?s always hassling and being overprotective of Vernon, continually pushing the knife in his back deeper in. An extended metaphor of food also occurs, ?feel the blade chop and dice?, which conveys that when his mother asked how he was, it?s the same old nonsense he?s used too ? superficial and oblivious to the danger Vernon is in. Vernon feels very intimidated by Vaine Gurie, the person in charge of investigating the case. ?Gurie lowers her bone to stare at me? implies that Vaine has supremacy over Vernon. Vernon is unable to plead himself innocent ? the system is corrupt since the masses of Guries in Martirio have domination and present opinions as facts, resulting in Vernon being guilty before innocent. She relentlessly questions Vernon and tries to catch him out, ?you said you were in math?, which shows Vaine isn?t really giving him a chance and he has no way of talking back. ...read more.

Conclusion

As a reader I get this idea that Vernon is unhappy with his life. He constantly repeats ?what kind of fucken life is this?? which repeatedly questions how awful his life is. The rhetorical question is aimed at us as a reader to think about it. We are left marginally in the dark in correspondence to the tragic incident that supposedly occurred to lead to Vernon?s arrest. Only hints are given, such as ?school ? don?t even fucken mention it?, and ?sheriff?s office?, and so we can only make inferences from what Vernon says. This implies that he is in custody, and that his school has something to do with it. Vernon has been fingerprinted (already guilty with no evidence), and he describes it as ?this ink would survive Armageddon?. This hyperbolic portrayal of the ?so called? evidence pinning him down to this crime would survive the end of the world ? this reinforces the idea of continual accusation. The title of the act, ?Shit Happens? has implications of something having gone wrong, of which we go on to find out in Act 2. Vernon describes his town as ?it?s hot as hell in Martirio?, which has a double meaning. ...read more.

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