• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the sense of isolation and helplessness in ‘The Devils Carousel’ and ‘The Restraint of Beasts’.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the sense of isolation and helplessness in 'The Devils Carousel' and 'The Restraint of Beasts'. The hierarchy explicit within the both 'The Devils Carousel' and 'The Restraint of Beasts' highlight the isolation of all the characters, where efficiency and working practices lead to cold formality of roles. In 'The Devils Carousel' the use of categories and labels such as "Martians" and "supersnipe" initially present a sense of unity and community through an open humour amongst the workforce where these nicknames are accepted. However gradually Torrington presents how sporadic and disengaged relationships actually are, and the lonely atmosphere in each role, where the seemingly friendly labels attached to people are in actuality cruel and alienating. Likewise in 'The Restraint of Beasts' the hierarchy excludes others, such as Donald who is completely segregated and divorced from his workforce, too concerned with running the company with the "utmost efficiency". Robert has been utterly reduced through his obsession with work, being pushed out in work leaves him isolated in life, his "role (being) generally unimportant" which causes him to latch on to his belittled role within the firm by "staying a little longer to remind (them) he existed". Likewise the anonymous narrator, although establishing a relationship with Tam and Richie is isolated, as he is foreman. ...read more.

Middle

The author's present simplistic and pitiful attempts to break free from work that emphasise employment's tedious capability of demolishing one's individuality. Likewise in 'The Restraint of Beasts' the endless construction of fence building remains a menial task despite the changing locations, which is exacerbated as Mills creates a narrative where very little happens. The characters have learned to accept their job to the point where they cannot even acknowledge its incessant dullness, David Hall comments that its "enough to drive you mad, all that repetition" yet Tam's only reply is the accepting "you get used to it". The whole book follows the mundane routine with the endless repetition in both characters lives and events in the novel such as the death of Mr McCrindle and Robert, which are almost identical. Even paragraphs from the text are copied exactly for much the same context such as the tools "in various states of disrepair" and Tam and Richie's interrogation with "two hard chairs....slightly less than full adult size, made from wood". Likewise in 'The Devil's Carousel' the book is more of a collection of short stories as no character is developed fully and events are retold to the reader by different characters such as the reintroduction of 'Kikbak' and gradual sporadic reiteration and updates of character deaths. ...read more.

Conclusion

The imprisonment of their work undeniably is a major cause of each characters isolation; their personal segregation is a protection against the oppression created by those around them, but ultimately leaves them more conquered by their work. The symbolic "cuckoo's frantic rapping on the inner side of the clock's unyielding door" in 'The Devil's Carousel' portrays the entrapment of mechanical objects such as the Widow, the failure of the mechanisms is heavily resonant as the workers fail leading to automaton and inevitable redundancies. This is exemplified as "a Dalek, (stands) there with a beaky head poised, awaiting the power that would have it pecking out welds at a rate no human could hope to match", tragically highlighting the finite nature of a human workforce whilst posing a threat to any sense of community within the firm as employees fear for their jobs causing further isolation. Likewise this sense of confinement appears in 'The Restraint of Beasts' when Donald assuredly tells the narrator "I don't ever expect you to leave" where such an ominous tone is "very reassuring" highlighting Mills' view of work as a trap. Similarly the symbolism of the "small boy adrift in a rowing boat", the "stockade around the house" and the large pens create a sense of controlling imprisonment in both books. Both authors present the secluded character's as forced into their role and unable to escape the requirements of work suggesting their view of work as dehumanising and overpowering. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer essays

  1. Discuss how at least three authors during the mid to late Nineteenth Century explore ...

    He tells this story about the tragedy which caused the death of his brother. From the beginning we find out that the narrator's mother had not lived a very pleasant life, she was twice married and wasn't happy with her first husband, "She never spoke of her first husband, and

  2. Compare 'The Homecoming' and 'The Workbox' by Thomas Hardy.

    Also the placing of 'like us all' softens the sentence So that it is more like he is talking to a child. The theme of the effect of social class on marriage is a huge one in these two poems.

  1. Commentary: Importance of the Mihailov episode for the novel as a whole.

    turns it to good use, to work on his art rather than let it hinder him. The simple fact that Mihailov does indeed seem to love his wife, while Oblonsky (and arguably Karenin) don't, shows that perhaps an argument with someone you care for fuels one of your other loves.

  2. "What's right and wrong is of no importance to Carver. He reflects the world ...

    Whether these emotions are classed as "right" or "wrong" has no significance to him- he only shows the world as it is- unglamorous, mundane, and full of problems. His view on life is not pessimistic, but simply truthful. It isn't true that he doesn't care about grief and emotion; he

  1. In this essay I am examining the three short stories "Turned" written by Charlotte ...

    The story revolves around Joanna who was over ambitions, dominant and an independent character. Her husband Shadrach had no great desires or ambitions unlike his wife. He was satisfied with his family and family life. As author said, ''Shadrach was a good and honest man, and he had been faithful to her in heart and in deed''.

  2. Delicious, eccentric, opulent, cruel corrupt: all of these adjectives appear in the story ‘The ...

    Both incidents are little 'titbits' of pure cruelty. Opulent is probably not an adjective you would expect of these quite violent tales, but the sense of opulence is seems to add to the pathos of the stories. In 'The Bloody Chamber' we are shown the Count's wealth "I drew my furs about me... broad stripes errene and sable".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work