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Unseen Commentary on "The Loom" by R L Sasaki

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Introduction

Unseen Commentary The extract taken from The Loom by R. L. Sasaki opens with a simple yet effective quote " "I give up" said Jo". From this short sentence we are able to deduce many things about the structure of the novel; firstly that it is a third person narrative and secondly that it is written in past tense. The quote itself - "I give up" - creates an immediate effect on the reader; the short sentence has a dramatic effect as it is ambiguous and intriguing - what is the character giving up on? It also brings into play a character, named Jo, who is this character? What is his/her purpose? All these questions are illustrated in the reader's mind generating a sense of curiosity, pushing the reader to read on. This simple opening is followed by another quote "We seem to lose ground every time. We dig her out, then she crawls back in, only deeper". In this quote we can examine that there is a pronoun change from the first quote, the writer uses "we" instead of "I" - this establishes that there is more than one character involved which further fuels the interest of the reader. ...read more.

Middle

She is the one giving up, and wanting to "break through". She even suggests methods which are "like shock treatment" a simile which portrays Jo's insensitivity as "shock treatment" is an immoral torture method involving electric shocks as a negative stimulus. Sharon, the middle daughter, is introduced next using yet again, a simple, short sentence. "Sharon, the middle daughter, gave her mother a loom" this straightforward sentence involves an action - Sharon giving her mother an object - this acts as an agent for change. The other daughters have only discussed about what they should do, while Sharon actually took action. This sentence alone is enough to portray Sharon as the daughter who is caring and takes action. After establishing the relationships between the daughters and the mother, Sasaki goes on to describe how the mother took up weaving. Sasaki describes the mother's hobby of weaving almost as an obsession. "Painstaking attention, threading the warp tirelessly, endlessly winding, threading, tying. The listing and repetition of gerund verbs and use of adverbs "tirelessly" and "endlessly" one after another conveys an image of a never-ending obsession, almost as if the mother could not stop weaving once she has started. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, the mother does also incorporate vibrant colors in her fabric which represent the more memorable moments of her life in the past. This can be seen towards the end of the extract when "hidden colors leaped from the brown fabric" this metaphor emphasizes how precious memories can be easily forgotten and lost in the "brown fabric" unless "you looked real close" - implying that the mothers memories are hidden but can never be forgotten. The extract ends with a particularly long sentence, contrasting with the short sentence with began with. "...weaving the diverse threads of life into one miraculous, mystical fabric with timeless care". The adjective "timeless" relates back to how the mother used weaving as a memoir of her life, once the fabric has been woven with all the emotion the mother put into it, it can never be forgotten as it is now material thus, making it "timeless". To conclude, Sasaki uses different literary devices such as sentence structure, a nostalgic tone and descriptive diction to highlight the difficulties and issues with the family throughout the years. Futhermore, the use of the loom helps represent the past memories of the mother contrasting with her present life. ...read more.

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