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Compare and Contrast at Least Three stories from "A Time to Dance".

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Introduction

15 December 2003 Compare and Contrast at Least Three stories from "A Time to Dance" A Time to Dance is a compilation of stories, most of which are set in Northern Ireland. The three stories chosen each centre mainly around one or two central characters. The Daily Woman depicts the life of Liz, a mother who regularly suffers beatings from her husband and pursued by her boss, prostitutes herself for extra cash. Phonefun Limited tells us about two retired prostitutes who find a new way of making money by making a phone call and Father and Son explores the relationship between a father and son who have lost their wife and mother and are not able to cope with the situation. In all three of these stories, there is a running theme of loneliness, with each of them showing how different people deal with such emotions. In Father and Son, both of the characters isolate themselves. They do not converse with each other and because of this isolation their relationship turns to a more hostile nature: My son, he is full of hatred. For me, for everything. He spits when he speaks. His son isolates himself by locking the door to his room because he believes that his "lousy" father isn't strong enough to help him with his problems. ...read more.

Middle

intentionally, as it puts emphasis on all the ordeals Liz has had to go through and how each one of them is demoralising her even further. All are written in such a way that it never strays from the central characters, and so help to emphasise more the point of the story. These two stories, The Daily Woman and Father and Son also have something else in common in that both of their titles are very misleading. From The Daily Woman and Father and Son, it seems to promote and idea that the story will be pleasant and light, but in fact both are the complete opposite. On further analysis of the title The Daily Woman, it becomes even more disturbing that this woman, Liz experiences something like this on a near 'daily' basis. The relationship between the characters in these two stories, between the father and son and Liz and Eamonn are even quite similar. There is a hostile feeling between them in each, stronger in Father and Son, but strangely to The Daily Woman, Liz feels sorry for Eamonn. The person being affected the most is the father and Liz, who have obviously tried or are trying to make amends but the son and Eamonn refuse, probably because they both consider that to accept and give in would be a sign of weakness. ...read more.

Conclusion

You live in fear. Of your own death. The fact that the person narrating changes continuously throughout the story adds to this effect. The end result of Father and Son causes the reader to feel pity for the father who has just lost his son. The end echoes something he said earlier in the story about him wanting to 'put [his] arms around [him]' It is rather ironic that the father, having wanted to put his arms around his son for such a very long time, has only been able to do it the once, when his son is dead. The Daily Woman has a similar ending in which you also pity Liz, because of what she will without a doubt eventually have to go through again with her husband. Each story uses different writing techniques, forms of characterisation and uses of language because each story serves as a different purpose. Phonefun Limited is a story which is to entertain by taking a comical view at the life of two 'retired' prostitutes. However The Daily Woman and Father and Son take a far more serious form to shock the reader as well as educate them about what can happen in these extreme situations. The three stories each take fairly and sometimes very different approaches to convey their message or point and all three manage to do it very successfully. Nikhil Patel ...read more.

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