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Keeping up Appearances Comparing and Contrasting "The man with the twisted lip" with "Front"

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Wide Reading English Coursework Keeping up Appearances Comparing and Contrasting "The man with the twisted lip" with "Front" The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast two similar stories from different centuries. The stories I chose were "The man with the twisted lip" written by Arthur Conan Doyle taken from the 19th century (1892), and "Front" written by Jan Mark taken from the 20th century (1990). The reason I chose this two stories was because throughout life everybody tries to be somebody there not. There are many similarities and differences in both "Front" and "Twisted lip", but the most apparent relation between the two stories is the keeping up appearances (or keeping down appearances in the case of "Twisted lip") theme, meaning they are about someone or something trying to conceal the truth or simply the truth isn't so obvious in the case of "Front", the other less prevailing similarities/differences will be analysed later on in the essay. The beginning of both stories differ quite strongly, "Front" begins with a narrator describing her experiences of seeing something that she would compare to as "one of the seven wonders of the world" and there some definite references to class "Five streets down" the comma after the word "down" brings emphasis towards it and sets the impression that the narrator feels (or later on in the story, felt) that she is in a sense not worthy, or in awe with her surroundings, as the story shows that she is quite concerned about class, and the economic ...read more.


"Front's" complication begins when Patricia Coleman enters the story and almost immediately the writer shows that this relationship doesn't last very long by putting "briefly friends" at the end of the first sentence. The next few sentences are very important, as the narrator indicates Patricia may be of a lesser economical standing by saying "sets, like death cut across class barriers" when they are put in the same maths set as each other. This just shows how strong the class barriers still where at that time compared to the time "Twisted Lip" was set in, even though they go to the same schools, a lot of people still categorized others in the way of the early 1900's. The writer quite cleverly makes out Patricia to be pretending she is something she is not, and later on, proving it. When both narrator and Patricia are on the street corner and she asks "are you expected?" This type of expression is more commonly found in the conversing of the higher class, which the reader may have recently learned that she is not. So doing justice to the irony of the title, Patricia is putting on a "Front" or putting it more frankly, pretending to be something she is not, but another aspect is that Patricia may used to have been financially secure but perhaps her family struck financial hardship. This point does raise questions later in the story to her motivation to want to bring the narrator to her home at the crescent, as this would simply show all to well how badly she lives. ...read more.


of her house "mind the bikes, Pat said redundantly," this shows again that the writer of "Front" is trying to show the reader that Pat is quite depressed about how she lives. The writer uses little comments almost like sarcastic jokes about the size and state of Pat's living area. "Then I realized, the kitchen cabinet was the kitchen" short but frank sentences like these seem funny at first, but then its realized that it wasn't an overstatement and that it simply the way it is. The writer also shows how the narrator is almost afraid to look around, as she doesn't want to drown the thoughts she used to have of the crescent in what she had and will see. The last part of the story is shows how pats mum feels which can really put the reader's life in perspective. The words the writer used are effective, for example after pat lit the fire it becomes obvious that she wasn't allowed to as to her mum's reaction when the narrator leaves the room "Oh Christ, that's the last of the coal." Another hint towards the fact that they didn't normally live like that is when Pats mum says "But to bring anyone to this place..." this obviously shows that even they don't like to live there means they've lived in places better. Another similarity comes out here, as there are a lot of references to where people live in "Twisted Lip" and "Front's" climax or pinnacle of the story is about Pat's house or "slum". ...read more.

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