• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the theme of the isolated figure in two extracts from The Big Sleep and a story by Poe. Extracts: The Big Sleep, Chapter 6 and The Fall of the House of Usher

Extracts from this document...


Explore the theme of the isolated figure in two extracts from The Big Sleep and a story by Poe. Extracts: The Big Sleep, Chapter 6 and The Fall of the House of Usher pages 80-83 Both extracts by Chandler and Poe have a theme of the solitary figure as they both constantly relate to the loneliness of characters. Poe's characters in particular are dominated by emotion; his stories are often about strange events which affect the reader in a way which he wouldn't experience in everyday real life. Poe likes to make his readers feel rather than think therefore his stories always have lots of emotions and feelings. On the other hand Chandler's novel which also had a theme of loneliness is a lot more logical than emotive. However it is also to be considered that both novels were written during different periods of time so Chandler's novel is obviously going to be more modern than Poe's novel. In the first sentence of the Poe extract the name of the main character appears 'Usher'. Usher today is often recognised as someone who is hired to introduce and escort people. But interestingly Usher in archaic terms meant an under teacher or assistant master in a school. This shows characterisation of how Roderick Usher has importance within the House of Usher. ...read more.


Surely, man had never before so terribly altered, in so brief a period, as had Roderick Usher!' Firstly the sentence starts off with 'I' suggesting the first person of the text which shows how descriptive the quote will be as the unknown narrator is showing real personal experience. The words which are important in this sentence are quite short which shows the lexis is specifically chosen to emphasize loneliness. For example pity and awe are both verbs which are quite very strong so they didn't need adverbs to support them. The following quote from The Big Sleep is very short yet powerful: 'Sodden trees dripped all over the landscape.' The main focus of the sentence is the adjective sodden; its main meaning in context of this sentence is thoroughly wet although another interpretation of sodden is drunk. Therefore this could possibly be a form of double meaning and personification as trees cannot be drunk, sodden literally and also figuratively. Marlowe who is a drinker himself drinks a lot in fact it is almost like his only companion is whiskey. Therefore this could suggest Marlowe's solitary figure in his speech as he even describers other objects as drunk. In both texts even the description of places are so intense and breath taking which expand on the solitary figures in the story. ...read more.


Hard boiled fiction uses slag and irony often as it focuses readers on individual parts of the novel. Hard boiled fiction uses vivid but often sordid urban backgrounds, and fast-paced, slang dialogue. Overall both texts emphasize and portray the solitary figure as Marlowe and Usher which are two genuinely very lonely figures. This is a huge advantage for both texts; The Fall of the House of Usher text in particular continues to describe Usher and his surrounding settings as very different and lonely. The Big Sleep uses lots of figurative effects such as metaphors, similes and personification. Poe's extract uses lots of complex sentences to add as much description as possible whereas on the other hand Chandler uses short sentences to build suspense therefore they both use different approaches to achieve the same purpose of enhancing the isolated figure. It is known that many of Poe's characters are almost always dominated by emotion. Poe also believed that writing should be about strange events which affect the reader in a way which he would not encounter in everyday life. In The Fall of the House of Usher the strange events vary from Madeline supposed to be dead to the house collapsing. The diachronic variation between both novels is incredible. Both plots have lots in common; deep mysteries and loneliness that the narrators have to unravel through intelligence and feeling. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    One day in August, Hana sees Kip in the lower field of the villa. She hears him scream an awful sound and sink to his knees in agony, his headphones on. He runs to his tent, grabs his rifle, and charges into the English patient's room.

  2. A Comparison Of 'The Bodysnatcher' and 'The Blood Bay'. How Do The Two Writers ...

    Overall, the characters in this story did nothing to create the fearful and tense atmosphere required for a successful horror story, but instead transformed an uneventful anecdote into a farce consisting of black comedy. Throughout 'The Bodysnatcher' the reader is well aware that the narrator is always a step ahead.

  1. Compare and contrast three examples of gothic fiction

    creation that spin out of control, it remains particularly poignant when thought of in relation to science. Firstly because it implies that the very act of science can undermine belief systems. If man can create life then does one truly need a God?

  2. Analysis of the three short stories, The Hanged Man's Bride, written in 1860, The ...

    Through Monks' scheming, Oliver becomes enmeshed in the criminal underworld, represented by Fagin - yet another adult figure who uses children for his own ends. Oliver is further used and abused (by Sikes, for example) before he eventually finds salvation with the Maylie household and the story thus ends happily.

  1. Compare the opening pages of The Bell Jar and One Flew Over the Cuckoos ...

    The traditional meaning of queer is 'strange' or 'unusual'. However, it is most often used in reference to gay men. Sex will form an important part of Esther's preoccupations in the novel. This is clearly evident from the opening pages of this novel where Esther Greenwood's revulsion for her life seems in part a response to her finding her

  2. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost and If Sleep and ...

    But "Stopping by Woods" is a much stranger poem than may appear at first. From the opening lines, we know that the story is being told from the speaker's point of view ("Whose woods these are I think I know"), but we may never bother to consider whom the man is addressing.

  1. Critical Analysis Of Chapter two Of The Big Sleep

    The greenhouse in which Sternwood and Marlowe convene also helps to set the mood and the tone for the novel by acting both as an extension of the ailing General Sternwood and a microcosm for the corrupt world of LA that surrounds and decays him.

  2. Explore the theme of trauma in The Bell Jar and Regeneration

    Therefore, as Showalter goes on to say, one possible denouement to the novel is that Esther gains ?sexual freedom through birth control,? as Doctor Nolan allows her to get her first diaphragm. This also serves as confirmation that Esther is getting better as she is permitted freedom from the hospital and also that of her own body.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work