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An analysis and comparison of two short story openings

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Introduction

An analysis and comparison of two short story openings I have chosen to analyse and compare the beginnings of Uncle Ernest and Brighton rock. I have chosen to write about these two stories because they make a good contrast with each other as the author's different techniques create a number of different effects. Both authors write with the technique of using a lot of description. Graham Greene, the author of Brighton Rock uses this technique to describe both the character and the setting. One effect this has on the story is that it helps to create an obvious contrast between the two. This shows the reader that the main character, Hale, is misplaced within his surroundings; he stands out and does not fit in with everyone else or the place he is in. ...read more.

Middle

The setting mirrors this as he walks out of a public lavatory, a place generally seen as dirty and unpleasant, the gutters are "unswept" and there is rubbish all over the floor. This gives me the impression that Uncle Ernest isn't very important where he lives as he fits in with everything else. The description in this story also has the effect on the audience that we are getting to know him more personally as we find out so much. Hale though, on the other hand, is to the audience, a mysterious man because we never find out what he looks like and he seems a bit suspicious, like "inky fingers" suggests. It could mean that he is a criminal because they have fingerprints taken or it could be something to do with his job, for example he could work with newspapers, we don't know. ...read more.

Conclusion

Uncle Ernest though, to me has little excitement because we find out all of the important details about the main character within the first paragraph. We know his appearance, his name and even his job so no suspense or tension is built up in the story. "Ernest Brown the upholsterer" basically says it all about him already. In conclusion, I mostly enjoyed the opening of Brighton Rock by Graham Greene because I was kept interested throughout and I wanted to read the rest of the story to find out what happens to Hale and if he really gets murdered. I also want to get to know the character better because I feel I know nothing about him. The author writes the story well because the techniques he uses help to build the suspense. I did not really enjoy Uncle Ernest and I wasn't inspired to read on because there was little action and I already knew lots about the main character. Allegra Gacsall ...read more.

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