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The story of Sredni Vasthar is one of oppression and conflict. Set in the Edwardian period, the social context of the story is that of a family of wealth and middle class values.

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Introduction

The story of Sredni Vasthar is one of oppression and conflict. Set in the Edwardian period, the social context of the story is that of a family of wealth and middle class values. This aspect of the Edwardian society was seen to be rigid and more concerned on maintaining their status. In this essay I intend to show the reader how the use of language affects the conflict as a whole. The opening paragraph supplies the reader with enough information so that we are automatically made to feel sympathy towards Conradin as well as involving the reader in the story 'The doctor had pronounced his professional opinion that the boy would not live another five years'. This shows the reader that he is terminally ill, which is the reason for our immediate sympathy. Later on in the paragraph, we learn that he is an orphan in the care of his Cousin. We are made aware of the fact that his cousin and guardian Mrs De Ropp frequently uses his condition as a justification to coerce him. We are given an indication of her feelings towards her treatment of her nephew: thwarting him 'for his good' was a duty which she did not find particularly irksome. ...read more.

Middle

We are engrossed in Conradin's thoughts and feelings and follow in his experiences 'He saw the Woman enter, and then be imagined her opening the door of the sacred hutch and peering down with her short-sighted eyes' Had the story been narrated in the first person, the affect would be completely different. For one it would have none of the witty and sarcastic commentary used in Srendi Vastar, it would come across more informal and unambiguous, even conversational at times when addressing the reader. 'When she comes I will meet, but there they are' this is an extract of a story narrated in the first-person, taken from 'Everyday Use' by Alice walker. Note the informal and direct style in which Mama (the narrator) addresses the reader as if you are in her company. As Sredni Vasthar is told in the third person narrative, it allows the narrator to be detached from the actual events; this in turn gives the narrator license to have a slightly wry and darkly humorous view on proceedings for instance 'If the malady had lasted for another day the supply of nutmeg would have given out'. ...read more.

Conclusion

can liberate him from his oppression. The climax of the story begins when his cousin sets out to discover his god. 'He knew that the Woman would triumph always as she triumphed now' shows that Conradin was all but already to accept his worse fears. The conflict is resolved when his reality and imagination becomes one, with the death of this cousin at the hands of Srendi Vasthar resulting in a change of the status quo. The climax of the story leaves the reader with the feeling that justice has been done and that Ms De Ropp received her 'comeuppance'. The climax of the story coincides with the theme of Srendi Vasthar which is one of oppression and justice. We learn how one would react if all outlets for love were to be taken away. Ms De Ropp we could say instigates her own downfall by taken away the Houdan hen, meaning he was just left with his malice towards his cousin instilled in him through her oppression. The theme also portrays the neglect and emptiness of the middle class Edwardian society. This could be said is portrayed through description of the house and garden as given by the narrator: In the dull, cheerless garden. In conclusion, Sredni vasthar might be seen as a child's dream of fighting a world ruled by uncompromising and non understanding adults. ...read more.

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