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How does Peake's choice of form structure and language shape meaning in the spire.

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Introduction

How does Peake's choice of form structure and language shape meaning in the spire. Peake is a well known writer who has gained global recognition for his unique style and literary technique.. 'Titus Groan' is book one of his classic Gormenghast Trilogy. So powerful is the impact of this book that the New Yorker described it as, 'a gorgeous volcanic eruption...a work of extraordinary imagination'. Others have gone on to say that Titus Groan is 'dreamlike, fantastic and macabre ... one of most astonishingly sustained flights of the imagination in modern English fiction.' Peake has through his writing demonstrated an ability to fascinate, influence and torment the reader. He does this in a number of ways. One is through the dramatic use of punctuation. An example is the unorthodox use of hyphenation. See the following example in which Peake effectively conveys the fear in Flay's mind. "... his thoughts flowed back to the day of the Christening when he had slashed at the great soft face- to the night when he had watched the rehearsal of his murder-to that horrible sack ...read more.

Middle

Thegothic imagery symbolizing tradition also effectively presses the point of mindless that results in decay and rot of Gormenghast. Minutely detailed descriptions are another of Peake's trademark devices. He uses them to breathe life, vividness and colour to his situations. See the following passage; "...against the pale yellow glow could be distinguished the silhouette of Sweter's upper volume. It was quite simple. It curved up and over in one black dome. There seemed to be no head." Peake's extensive use of detail to capture and amplify the feeling of disgust that Flay has towards Swelter's body is a master stroke. Also note the use of short sentences to generate a feeling of precision and decisiveness. The imagery of the black dome dehumanizing Swelter conveys the feeling of a dark figureless dysfunctional creature. The text in general belongs to the romantic Gothic genre. The setting and descriptions especially that of the castle is reflective of this. Even though a few elements of the gothic genre like the use of the first person is missing,, yet we are able to classify 'Titus Groan' as belonging to the gothic genre. ...read more.

Conclusion

Was the heat even more horrible?" These questions challenge the reader by inviting them to imagine what could have been really happening in Gormenghast. Another feature of Peake's writing is the impact it creates in the mind of the reader by exposing him to incredibly detailed descriptions of the context. One way he does this is by discussing exact dimensions and measurements - an almost 'paranoiac denseness of detail' . "The passageway was narrow at this point, broadening about forty to fifty feet further down the corridor to the dimensions of the hall, whence the second..." Towards the end of the chosen extract Peake uses an epic simile which may be compared to 'Milton's' technique in 'Lost Paradise' , wherein the length of the similie is unusually long, it is related to the analogy of the greek literature. "...as lazes through long grass the lethal scythe." This rather long simile allows Peake to decribe the choppingof Swelters ear in a precise manner. In conclusion it seems reasonable to say that Peake is a powerful writer whose unique style compels us to places it in a genre all of its own - a modern classic. ...read more.

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