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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 2246 words

Compare ‘The Black veil’ by Charles Dickens with the first chapter of ‘Talking in whispers’ by James Watson

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Introduction

Compare 'The Black veil' by Charles Dickens with the first chapter of 'Talking in whispers' by James Watson Important ideas and feelings don't die easily and even survive the transition from one generation to another. Two authors from two different centuries try to communicate the same ideas through their books; they are Charles Dickens, from the 19th century, and James Watson from the 20th century. Both of these authors wrote a book that contains similar characters and ideas, the 'Black veil' by Charles Dickens and 'Talking in whispers' by James Watson. How people cope when presented with adversity are the main ideas included in the novels. 'The Black veil' is about a surgeon in 1860, after recently establishing a medical business is approached by a woman in a Black veil that asks him to save a doomed man's life. The surgeon still not fully understanding the situation agrees to help but is in for and unpleasant surprise. Different in storyline but similar in themes and ideas 'Talking in whispers' is about a man of 16 years old, Andres, up recently losing his father to the secret police, struggles to deliver evidence of the Juntas brutality, with the help of twins Isa and Berto, and is tortured in the process.

Middle

The authors are using the theme of grief and are trying to make you feel grief to motivate you to change the situation that is causing the grief. Punishment, a theme in the two stories, is only punishment when it is deserved, any other time it is torture. The people in the slums of Walworth in 'The Black veil' can be said to be receiving punishment for their social disposition or they could be said to being tortured because of the state in which they live in "stagnant water" "filthy woman" because as far as the upper class is concerned to people in the lower class get what they deserve whether it is torture or punishment "a few scattered people of questionable character". Punishment in 'Talking in whispers' is very little on the side of justice and is more dealt out by the junta who abuse the country's justice system. As in 'The Black veil' it could be said that the junta are more like torturing the population then punishing them for supposed 'crimes'. In 'The Black Veil' the characters remain nameless to avoid preconceptions, Charles Dickens did this so that the characters remain a mystery. The surgeon in the start of the story is in his quiet, cosy, little parlour.

Conclusion

You cannot get a message across to the reader if they stop reading. Differently the lay out for Talking in Whisper is that of a thriller, the story has a lot of tension and action to move across quickly from one part to the next. Finally, I believe that the Black Veil has metaphorical relevance to both stories. The Black Veil was not only worn by the strange woman in ' the Black Veil' but it is also a metaphor for the state in which the public of the time and the surgeon live in. They live ' shrouded' in this Black Vail to hide them selves from reality, because it is simply to cruel too witness, and Charles Dickens, with his book, is removing this protective Black Vail from their eyes, like when the surgeon opens the curtains and sheds light on the truth (the woman's dead son) and showing them to suffering below them. The Black Vail is also a top, black, cover over Chile and the people are fighting to remove this suppressing presents from their lives. Both authors have shown us suffering in their books and shown us people willing to see it had to fight it. All they have shown us is the truth. Nothing more. Now take a look at the news and tell me what you see... Keith Thompson 1

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