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Close reading on the Island

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Introduction

Lit 1000: Texts and Contexts Assessment 1: Close Reading on island (ii) From "If a mother does it for you you're free to fly (p.30), to "The lie is a temporary measure. Until the facts come round a bit." (p 31). The opening sentence implies a lack of responsibility a child feels when depending on a mother. Children do not have to worry about their actions, as their parents are there to accept liability, "your free to fly" emphasises a carefree impression portrayed by this idea that parents are a child's fall back. The use of "mother" creates a formal sense, as opposed to using a more colloquial term such as "mum", giving the impression that the narrator, Nikki, is distanced from her mother, instead of the close relation you expect to find between a parent and a child. "Mother" is repeated frequently throughout the extract to show the loathing she feels. ...read more.

Middle

As the narrator she argues about a child's worth, "how practically nothing you are". She feels that although children are "nothing" their mothers are still there to protect them, hers was not. First person is used to give an insight into the mentality of Nikki. "That's what I think" this self-reflexive statement clarifies how she feels about parents, as mentioned in the previous paragraph. She generally has a sarcastic view of mothers due to the negative connotations held by her own mother, and so she feels a strong hatred towards all caring mothers. "That's where successes come from. Mother-fear". Nikki is trying to shift the blame for her own failure onto her absent mother. She feels that mothers fearing for a child's well being, catching them as they fall, is the key to success. This appears to be Nikki's reasoning for wanting her mother dead. "That's why I thought I'd kill her. Catch her and kill her". ...read more.

Conclusion

"But I always know the fall is imminent", she knows her life will inevitably go wrong. The use of "always" creates the idea it is a regular occurrence, she always falls when she wants to fly. The use of first person narrative generates the question is Nikki really trustworthy? We are reading her perspective, and she tries to emphasise her truthfulness by making direct declaratives such as "You might as well believe me", she is encouraging the reader to trust her. "Why would I lie?" This rhetorical question involves the reader, and perhaps can be interpreted as Nikki questioning herself, trying to prevent doubt in the readers mind as well as her own. "I suppose I've always thought the truth was quite important", this gives off the impression that she isn't totally convinced that truth is necessary, she feels it is only "quite" important as opposed to being "very". This is then emphasised by her attitude towards truth in the final sentences. "The lie is a temporary measure. Until the facts come around a bit", it is okay to lie temporarily until you can come up with more acceptable facts. ...read more.

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