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Practice Commentary This passage taken from Denton Welch's Maiden Voyage

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Introduction

Avelina Singh English S1 06.12.04 Practice Commentary This passage taken from Denton Welch's Maiden Voyage, introduces the readers to the main character (whose name is not mentioned) in a place that is not well known to the main character. Through the use of foreshadowing, symbolism, effective setting and characterization the author is able to successfully display a situation where an adolescent's rebelliousness leads him into trouble and unexpected events. This passage begins with one of the characters, Mr. Butler, telling the main character, "Foreigners are not very popular here." This very first line of the passage acts as a great opening sentence as it foreshadows the horrifying event that follows and it sets up the ominous and menacing mood of the passage. However this sentence is written so that it is an understatement and thus even though it still foreshadows the event that follows in a subtle way, it does not decrease the effect of that event has on the readers. If the foreshadowing had been made more obvious like, "Don't go outside or else they will kill you." ...read more.

Middle

In the starting the villa in which the main character is staying is said to be surrounded by poplar trees that are tall and thin and are planted in straight lines. This gives the readers the feeling that these trees act as barriers between the villa and the Chinese city that lies outside and maybe even guards the people living inside the villa from the outside dangers. Apart from this it gives a sense of why the main character feels imprisoned. Then when the main character sneaks out of the villa and walks along the sandy lane that leads to the country the surrounding area is described in such a way that is seems to have a life of its own. The stunted bushes are said to squeak and grate linguistically as the wind passes through them indicating that the bushes have a language of their own. The dust and sand are described as pillars and scarves making them similar to real civilization and makes the readers feel as if they have entered another world similar to their own. ...read more.

Conclusion

These two lines let the readers know that the main character prefers to be independent but also that he is spoiled as he likes to do things his way and his way only. Therefore when Mr. Butler suggests that stay at the villa he feels imprisoned and is furious. When his curiosity takes the better of him he leaves the villa quietly just to explore the country. His curiosity also takes over him when he observes the black speck at some distance. When he realizes that the object is actually a human head he is appalled but at the same time he is unable to take his eyes of the head. At this point in the passage the readers get the feeling that the main character is not as strong as he seems to be. He feels trapped and is reluctant to go back to the place where the head because he knows that he will be overcome by curiosity again. So this rebelliousness of his leads him into trouble. Therefore through the use of foreshadowing, symbolism, effective setting and characterization the author is able to successfully display a situation where an adolescent's rebelliousness leads him into unexpected trouble. ...read more.

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