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The Nine Tailors - Wimsey

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Introduction

IB English SL Assessment 5 - Paper 1 The given extract from "The Nine Tailors" by Dorothy Sayers talks about the unendurable pain experienced by the character, Wimsey by a rather simple notion of a loud noise. The passage has a concise beginning and end, further giving it a whole look. In this passage, features such as language, style, sentence structure and characterization have been analyzed, portraying the effective ways in which Sayers has illustrated Wimsey's feelings. The style of the author is ornate and emotive, giving a dramatic effect to the readers. The language used is concrete and descriptive, and forceful. Sayers has seldom used repetition and has managed to use a diverse vocabulary. Nonetheless, in order to stress on the intense sentiment experienced by the character, words like "brazen", "reel" and "totter" have been repeated. The word "brazen" in the personification "the brazen fury of the bells" describes the extent to which the character finds the sound of the bells agonizing and loud, almost indicating it to be blatant and shameless. The word "fury" further gives persona to the sound, and accordingly the sound can be called the antagonist of this passage. It must be noted that there is no protagonist as such in this passage, hence making the reader focus solely on the pessimism of the sound and its effects. ...read more.

Middle

A lot of parallels are used, i.e. many a times different words describe the same idea or thought, this keeps the reader in order with the big picture and makes it easier to understand. Repetition has been used in certain cases, sometimes using forms. Similes have been used often. "The brazen fury of the bells fell about his ears like the blows from a thousand beating hammers", "staggered like a drunken man", "like a sword on the brain" all describe the outcome of the sound. Personification has been used in the second example, where the tower has been compared to a drunken man, another example would be "sweating ringers". Even though the tower was not actually whirling, Sayers uses this simile in order to illustrate how the character felt perceived, in that state of mind. Metaphors also bring out the same effect, "it was brute pain". This tells the readers that the outlook of the speaker has been heavily influenced by his feelings and consequently his sensibility is abridged, within the passage. Cacophony is utilized in the passage, to further augment the mood with this pain, "grinding, bludgeoning, ran-dan". Furthermore, Sayers has used irony - "It was infinitely worse than any heavy roar of artillery. That had beaten and deafened, but this unendurable shrill clangour was a raving madness, an assault of devils." ...read more.

Conclusion

The change of mood created in the last paragraph is largely due to the shift in the feelings of the speaker, created by the usage of words. "As he flung the doors behind him, the demonaic clangour sank back into the pit, to rise again, transmuted to harmony, through the louvres of the belfry windows." The end last sentence contains a contrast, and clears up the constant sense of worry and irritability felt by the character throughout the passage, as well as the reader. By using words like "harmony", Sayers creates a more optimistic feeling, and one of relief. The phrase "As he flung the doors behind him" further shows how Wimsey at long last didn't feel suppressed by the sound, but in fact faintly superior, and this feeling is strengthened by the fact that Wimsey was now standing on top of the tower. This line changes the tone and the mood of the passage from a harsh and tense one to a fairly calmer one. Concluding, Sayers has effectively managed to portray Wimsey's feelings as he endures the sound, weaving descriptions of the pain along with those of the sound. The contrast gives the passage a good end, and the setting effectively complements the tone and the mood, making it a well-balanced piece of work. ...read more.

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