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

Commentary - Next Term We'll Mash You (extract)

Extracts from this document...


"Next term we'll mash you." - Penelope Lively This extract by Penelope Lively is a piece written in direct language, entwining semi-colloquial terms with underlying violence to enforce a message. The extract addresses the experience of a child by the name of Charles, during a visit to a potential boarding school with his parents. The passage begins for the slightest moment in the first person - in Charles' viewpoint - when the passage indicates Charles' being spoken to, '...and this is Charles? Hello there Charles.' As the story progresses, the narration switches to third person, indicated by Charles being referred to as 'the child'. The reference to him as 'the child' objectifies him as he is portrayed through the extract as a silent vessel. ...read more.


The author uses certain characteristics to indicate a number of atmospheres and 'feelings', including confusion, loneliness, singularity, impending negativity, and to create a sinister element that pervades the piece. This effect is created by the author's use of vocabulary, punctuation and diction indicated in the passage. For example, when the headmaster's wife leaves the room after leaving Charles to the mercy of the boys in the lower third, the entire passage takes an immense atmospheric turn, like a sharp intake of breath when the door is shut. The first indicative tone appears with the statement, 'She is gone.' Short, sharp and concise, that single sentence carries a world of meaning. From that sentence onward, the atmosphere in the passage changes completely. The author begins using deliberate punctuation and assonance, for example, 'The circle of children contracts...strange faces, looking, assessing.' ...read more.


This may have been used as a simile for the headmaster's power, similar to the overwhelming strength that a bird of prey has over their kill. This extract as a whole has multiple underlying messages, and not all have been described in this commentary, however, the central tension remains the paradox between power and weakness, indicated by Charles and his encounters with everyone, and his unwillingness to stand up for himself. His parents speak to him in a condescending tone of voice, believing that a child is unworthy of due respect. From the beginning we are given a very frail, fragile impression of the boy, and Penelope Lively uses multiple instances of imagery, vocabulary and diction to show the contrast between child and headmaster, as well as Charles versus his entire class. Even the title of the extract gives the impression of someone being weak, and therefore getting 'mashed.' ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Poem Commentary on "Strange Meeting"

    The futility of war is portrayed very strongly through the word "pity". Owen intends to show the pity of war in its purest form as war "distilled" pity as war happens. Furthermore, war also brings no progress to mankind or to countries.

  2. The use of literary techniques in the extract, Killed at Resaca, by Ambrose Bierce

    "He could not go forward, he would not turn back; he stood awaiting death." We can see the contrast between the high-class neighborhood and the battlefields as another ironic factor because one would expect that the hate or unpleasantness would have taken place on the battlefield, rather than in a

  1. English Commentary

    All I accomplished was to turn the lifeboat a little. Bringing one end closer to Richard Parker. I would hit him on the head! I lifted the oar in the air. He was too fast. He reached up and pulled himself aboard.

  2. Vietnamese Poetry and Language

    Anh tha�y �o�, ca�i che�t ch�nh la� s�� l��a cho�n kho�n ngoan cu�a �a con ga�i vo�n d� ngu �a�n. Nh�ng em se� �e� la�i nh��ng g� sau l�ng? Sa�ng th�� sa�u anh �e�n, em xa�ch gio� �i ch��, em muo�n th�� t�m ca�m gia�c la�m v��, du� ch� mo�t la�n.

  1. Commentary in an extract from the book "Brave New World" by Aldeous huxley

    Hence, with the implementation of adjectives the author minimizes the length of his sentences and maximizes the power of his descriptions. A very evident fact for contextualizing and making the novel logical is the name given to John after his arrival to London, The Savage.

  2. Poetry Commentary on To His Coy Mistress

    The employment of exotic imagery also aids this process, as he affirms that "by the Indian Ganges' side / Should'st rubies find" (L. 5 - 6). By providing images which are more tempting than any domestic sight in England, which is where both lovers are from, it entices the woman,

  1. The Canonization - Commentary

    now been removed, as it is likely the upper class wouldn't have associated with the life of a person from a lower class. This thought is confirmed by the line 'or ruined fortune flout' which indicates he has lost the fortune he used to have.

  2. Deena Kamels "A Language Without Limits" Commentary Piece

    And the answer is given here, by an Indian writer. Raja Rao writes: "We cannot write like the English. We should not. We cannot write only as Indians. Our method of expression therefore has to be a dialect which will some day prove to be as distinctive and colourful as the Irish or American."

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