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Consider Swift's presentation of two of the characters in 'Waterland' who you find most effectively portrayed.

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Introduction

Consider Swift's presentation of two of the characters in 'Waterland' who you find most effectively portrayed. In "Waterland" Swift weaves a magical yet haunting tale of ordinary characters who live through they're own struggles and problems unadorned by the complexity of world history yet forever revolving around the isolated and mysterious Fenns. His characters are a formidable mix of the stereotyped and the unordinary as he shows us how even the most common person can lead the strangest and most complex life and display a vast range of opposed emotions and thoughts. "Waterland" is a profound study of human nature that not only displays the intricacies of people but also analyses the men and woman that live among us and for which each of us can find a name. Thus we all know an Ernest Atkinson, a bourgeois born into wealth who finds a meaning in life in the texts of Marx which push him to oppose the life that has been imposed on him thus angering his town and family. Ernest is the most interesting character in that he shows how geniuses and men with unorthodox ideas are often called rebels and segregated from the rest of society in their uniqueness and intensity. Mary in "Waterland" leads a disturbingly bizarre life that ends with her kidnapping a baby; the transformation of her personality following the abortion and her increasing mental instability shows the fragility of the human mind. Her character as that of Ernest is astoundingly realistic and thus one of the most effective characters in the novel. One of the most compelling characteristics of Swift's writing is his mysterious characters, he only describes people at the most important and relevant part of their lives and the rest is left to the readers imagination. He also surprises the reader by withholding vital information about a character for a couple chapters than suddenly revealing it thus changing the reader's perspective completely. ...read more.

Middle

He fell in love with his daughter because she had the power he longed for so long. When, during the parade in 1915 she is able "to make a mockery of these war-mongering proceedings" "without the need for either word nor action", Ernest is jealous which turns into love which in turn turns into madness! Even through his madness to father "the saviour of the world" his character is still present, he is still the socialist trying to save the world. His love for his daughter becomes incest when his sanity is taken away by the town that force him into Kessington Hall. Here again, Swift shows us the fragility of the human mind through a character. Ironically the two most interesting characters in "Waterland" finish their lives mad! This has a lot to say about what Swift thinks of society and people in general. Waterland is not only a masterpiece of beautiful writing it is also a deeply philosophical novel that deals with human weaknesses. However it is the characters with the forever-present Fenns that make "Waterland" the intensly touching novel that it is. Consider Swift's presentation of two of the characters in 'Waterland' who you find most effectively portrayed. In "Waterland" Swift weaves a magical yet haunting tale of ordinary characters who live through they're own struggles and problems unadorned by the complexity of world history yet forever revolving around the isolated and mysterious Fenns. His characters are a formidable mix of the stereotyped and the unordinary as he shows us how even the most common person can lead the strangest and most complex life and display a vast range of opposed emotions and thoughts. "Waterland" is a profound study of human nature that not only displays the intricacies of people but also analyses the men and woman that live among us and for which each of us can find a name. ...read more.

Conclusion

His wish to make a difference which is countered by the rest of the town forces him to make his famous 'coronation ale' which is at the same time his revenge on the town and in a way his revenge on his family for imposing the brewery on him. Ernest at this stage is a very complex person, uncertain of what to do, who he supports, who he hates... This complexity imagined by Swift makes Ernest the most realistic character in the book. As many unhappy geniuses in history, Ernest, in the latter stages of his life resorts to drink. When he realises that his work as a radical to transform society is impossible he retreats to his house in the country. Ernest "lived, with his daughter, the life of a determined recluse in the old hall" and for once stopped being a man of action wishing to make his countrymen see into the future and became a "misanthrope". He fell in love with his daughter because she had the power he longed for so long. When, during the parade in 1915 she is able "to make a mockery of these war-mongering proceedings" "without the need for either word nor action", Ernest is jealous which turns into love which in turn turns into madness! Even through his madness to father "the saviour of the world" his character is still present, he is still the socialist trying to save the world. His love for his daughter becomes incest when his sanity is taken away by the town that force him into Kessington Hall. Here again, Swift shows us the fragility of the human mind through a character. Ironically the two most interesting characters in "Waterland" finish their lives mad! This has a lot to say about what Swift thinks of society and people in general. Waterland is not only a masterpiece of beautiful writing it is also a deeply philosophical novel that deals with human weaknesses. However it is the characters with the forever-present Fenns that make "Waterland" the intensly touching novel that it is. ...read more.

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