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comparing the way 2 writers; Graham Swift (Chemistry) and Michelle Roberts (Your Shoes) manage to explore the feelings and emotions characters in their story experience

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Question: Compare the way 2 writers explore feelings and emotions within their short stories. Feelings and emotions are things everyone can relate to and therefore they are also concepts that need to be explored vividly and vastly in pieces of writing. Due to this, writer's craft is extremely important in decoding the methods in which feelings and emotions are explored and can also vary greatly story to story. This essay will, therefore, be comparing the way 2 writers; Graham Swift (Chemistry) and Michelle Roberts (Your Shoes) manage to explore the feelings and emotions characters in their story experience and, in doing so, also picking up on their individual techniques. From their respective titles you can perhaps already form valid conclusions to the preference of the pair. 'Chemistry' is a scientific word and science lacks any form of feeling so maybe the point Swift is trying to make from the outset is that the feelings portrayed in the story are quite clinical and one dimensional. However, 'Your Shoes' already involves the reader and seems to pursue them on 2 different levels. ...read more.


There is no need for visual images of distance-it is clear in the mother's heartbroken words how she is feeling. 'The launch wallowed, sank.' The destruction of the boat in the pond could be interpreted as a hidden metaphor of the sense of destruction the boy is experiencing in 'Chemistry'. An event as literal as the sinking of a boat could easily be connected to a sense of despair, and it is this subtle way of exploring the little boy's feelings that makes it all the more striking. Perhaps this hidden metaphor for the boy's emotions suggests that maybe the boy (for he is so young) does not even realise how he is feeling and the emotion is occurring subconsciously, in the same way that the metaphor is not obvious either. Meanwhile, throughout 'Your Shoes', the setting is a house. A home is somewhere you should feel most comfortable in, yet the woman in this story is experiencing the worst event of her life. The way she chooses to hide away in her home shows a sense of desperation-as if she is, in a way, clutching at straws. ...read more.


Considering emotions and feelings are such common things, it was almost astounding to realise the wide variety of methods Graham Swift and Michelle Roberts used-just to portray what is essentially (underneath all of the more obvious and raw emotions i.e. anger, depression) one emotion-confusion. Confusion occurs in the one thought we all ask ourselves when things go wrong- 'Why has it happened to me?' What is more astounding than the variety of ways the authors showed the feelings and emotions, is the simple way they both explored the most crucial one. The confusion experienced by all characters in both stories, is showcased in the very structure of the text itself. You see, neither author wrote the prose in chronological order-each opting for inserting flashback instead. This shows that in the very character's minds they can't even think straight. Never mind the sadness, guilt and loneliness-the feeling of confusion was so bad, they couldn't even write down what they were actually feeling in an orderly fashion. So while they may have differed in the exploration of anger, and all other more raw emotions, they explored the most crucial one in the same way-on the very paper the stories are written on. ...read more.

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