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In the short story "Chemistry" written by Graham Swift, there are many interesting ways that it is told.

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In the short story "Chemistry" written by Graham Swift, there are many interesting ways that it is told. In the opening of the story, Graham Swift uses descritptive writing to give us a striking image of the pond, where he went with his grandfather and mother, "The pond in our park was circular, exposed, perhaps fifty yards across. When the wind blew, the little waves travelled across it and slapped the paved edges like a minature sea." This helps the reader gain a more precise image in their head of the park where the narrator is, and it also helps make the story more interesting to read. The opening of the story is also parallel to the end. The narrator in the story, goes back to the pond at the end of the story, and again gives us good imagery description of it, "Dead willow leaves floated on it". I found this interesting, because it makes the story cyclical, and may be a reminder of the journey of growing up and of the acceptance ' "You must accept it - you can't get it back" '. ...read more.


Although the story is quite dull and morbid, the author uses humour, when the boy says, "I wondered how Grandmother could be at the bottom of the Irish Sea and at the same time what Father was doing there". Again, this highlights his innocence and although it is humerous we are not laughing with him, but at his ignorance. In the story, there are many time shifts. Numerous times the narrator goes back in time, to update and tell the reader of a previous event, such as the relationships between his mother and grandfather before Ralph came along, and explaining why his mother and him came to live with his grandfather . This may be significant in the story because he preferred things in the past, compared to now. I find the relationship between the narrators mother and grandfather interesting. "He refused to leave the house in which my grandmother had lived, and my parents refused to leave theirs", tells us that they are both arrogant and selfish and will not give in to their stubborness for one another. The narrator tells us that his mother is also hypocritical towards her father, "no matter how neglectful and even hurtful she might be to Grandfather herself, she wouldn't have forgiven someone else's hurting him". ...read more.


Also in the story, I find interesting that the official verdict was "suicide by swallowing prussic acid", which is an argument for his Grandafther commiting suicide (as he had some prussic acid in his shed), yet the boy is extremely cynical and believes his mother murdered her father. " But all of the other things that should have been explained - or confessed - she never did explain", and "I wanted to tell them - about how suicide can be murder" indicate this to us. His mother says to the boy, ' "...he wouldn't have lived much longer anyway" ' which may inform the reader that she is trying to justify her actions (murder). Throughout the story is the theme of chemistry and how things are "changed - not made". His Grandfather's job, before retirement, was gold-plating and now, in the shed in the garden, he carries out many experiments, "I don't think Grandfather practised chemistry for any particular reason".The chemistry Grandfather experiments with and changes is a metaphor of what is happening in the home, ' "People change too, don't they?" ' His Grandfather replies with "They change. But the element's don't change." This is telling the reader, that although people/elements can change and become something else, underneath it all they are still made of the same as they were before. ...read more.

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