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‘ The secret life of Walter Mitty ‘ by James Thurber, ‘ Indian Camp’ by Ernest Hemingway, ‘ The peaches’ by Dylan Thomas, ‘ The trout’ by Sean O’Faolain and ‘Go down, Moses’ by William Faulkner

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Introduction

Twentieth Century Prose I have read five short stories by different authors, all the stories have been written in the twentieth century and I will be comparing all of the stories with each other. I will be comparing settings, themes, characters, moods, atmospheres and narrative techniques. I will also be saying if each author's technique makes a better impression on the story. The stories I read are ' The secret life of Walter Mitty ' by James Thurber, ' Indian Camp' by Ernest Hemingway, ' The peaches' by Dylan Thomas, ' The trout' by Sean O'Faolain and 'Go down, Moses' by William Faulkner Settings ' The secret life of Walter Mitty' seems to be set in the mid twentieth century, this is because at the beginning of the story after the first dream we find the main character Walter sitting in a car, cars were made in the late twentieth century not early. We know that they live in houses as it says in the story that they headed for their house in the car This could mean that the story is set mid not early twentieth century. After reading more of the story I got a feeling that the story is set in America since the dialogue used is remotely like the Americans and not English for example, "pick it up brother", snapped a cop', the word brother is used quite a lot in a America and not here in England. Also the words 'firearms' and 'sidewalk' are American words and are used in the story, which give the story an American atmosphere and really makes the story seem American. ...read more.

Middle

a twist as the theme could also be secrecy, this is because a mother prefers to tell her children a different story than the truth. Go down Moses has a similar theme to The trout which is again secrecy but this time I feel the theme is much more emphasized as a lady tries to hide the truth of someone else's son to the mother. Once again there could be another theme, this time murder and its consequences, this is because the son murders a policeman and then gets the death sentence. Narrative Techniques In the story The Peaches the narrator uses very descriptive writing using on average six to seven adjectives per sentence. There was one however that seemed very peculiar and long, it caught my eye and found that it is very interesting. This was that sentence: "The ramshackle outhouses had tumbling rotten roofs, jagged holes in their sides, broken shutters, and peeling whitewash; rusty screws ripped out from the dangling, crooked boards; the lean cat of the night before sat snugly between the splintered jaws of bottles, cleaning its face, on the tip of the rubbish pile that rose triangular and smelling sweet and strong to the level of the riddled carthouse roof " As you can see this sentence is not only quite long but if you look at it in detail you can pick out another interesting feature to this writing, he uses many adjectives. There are at least fifteen adjectives making this sentence an extremely descriptive one, the author Dylan Thomas has spent a lot of time describing the cats actions and its surroundings giving a clear picture of the environment in my head. ...read more.

Conclusion

However his character changes a lot when he realizes an unexpected turn of events occurs, he appears to become very protective of his child and puts his attention to him. The son also has an interesting character, at the beginning of the story he is delighted he go with his father and he thinks he knows everything that will happen, but he seems to get scared when he sees the dead person and I feel his views on doctors and maybe even hospitals were changed for life. There is really only one main character in 'The secret life of Walter Mittey' and his name is Walter, he comes across as an ordinary person who seems to be forgetful, I gathered this because his wife says, 'toothpaste, toothbrush, bicarbonate, carborundum, initiative and referendum', this sentence is weird as the last two words are things you can't buy but things you are born with, also if you don't have those two features then you would be a forgetful person. He seems to be all-alone in the real world and has his own life in his dreams. His dreams are like ones you have when you are a child and so I think he has dreams to try and fulfil his ambitions that he had when he was young. From what I understood from 'Go down, Moses' there was really one character this is an old women who tries to help a friend of hers by keeping a secret from her friend, she goes to great lengths to try and keep the death of her friends son secret and so seems very friendly. Evans.A.R 01/05/07 ...read more.

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