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

Frank O'Connor said that the short story usually looks at isolated individuals who undergo a 'frontier experience.' How do the writers in this collection use language to present states of isolation and to show how their characters confront crises?

Extracts from this document...


English Essay Frank O'Connor said that the short story usually looks at isolated individuals who undergo a 'frontier experience.' How do the writers in this collection use language to present states of isolation and to show how their characters confront crises? Choose three stories to illustrate your answer. To illustrate this idea in this essay, I have chosen the following three short stories; 'The Badness Within Him' by Susan Hill, 'Killing Lizards' by William Boyd and 'Rose for Emily' by William Faulkner. O'Connor's first claim was; short stories represent outsiders in society, both in the sense that stories are about outsiders and the writers themselves are considered to represent these outsiders. Frank O'Connor called his outsiders 'submerged population groups' and felt that short stories are essentially about human loneliness and isolation. He felt that the form of the short story is particularly suited to the age in which we live. Each character in the these short stories go through a frontier experience which involves them coming up to a new situation and changing from state to another. For example in the 'Badness Within Him', the frontier experience that Col goes through is childhood to adulthood, this can be seen when he kicks ...read more.


These sentences; 'he's been a marvel' and 'they're so close now' shows Gavin thoughts, illustrating that he desperately want to seek his mother's love and attention without any interference from his father or his sister. His jealousy can be seen when his mother and sister go shopping together and he senses that his mother spends more time with Amanda, then she does with Gavin. This shows that Gavin experiences unconscious conflict with his father and his sister over his love for his mother. The relationship between Gavin and his mother can be approached through the Freudian theory based on the Ancient Greek myth of Oedipus which explains how boys such as Gavin feel when they are growing up; a certain attachment is formed between the boy and the mother which is clearly seen in this part of the story. However, Col's dream is slightly different to Gavin's. Col wishes for a storm that would break the pattern of the long hot summer days. On page 10 he states 'he does not want the past, he wants the future', this illustrates to the reader that he wishes for a change, he wants to quarrel rather than seeing his family enjoying themselves by 'building sandcastles', 'reading books' and 'wearing hats'. ...read more.


This idea of s****l feelings that Gavin has, relate to the Oedipus theory of how boys develop s****l feelings and start to notice every detail about their mothers appearance and looks as they grow up. Writers have used quite a lot of similes such as ' badness was living and growing like a cancer' to help describe the images better and making them clearer by comparing them to other living things or objects. Each simile is designed to create a specific effect, so for this example, the cancer represents a disease which cannot be controlled and is contagious. Short sentences such as 'the sea was still as glass', 'Col saw his father drowning' are used to create shock and terror by the writer. Short sentences help to increase the pace and emphasis the moment of realisation and panic. Long sentences would not be able to create this effect, which is why writers use short sentences to present how the characters confront crises. I have found that in these short stories, writers have used language cleverly in different ways to present states of isolation and to show their characters confronting crises when they undergo a frontier experience. Written By Nayyera Aslam Nayyera Aslam Miss Trotter ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Alice Walker 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 AS and A Level Alice Walker essays

  1. What are the main themes of Pleasantville and how does the director convey them ...

    r****m is also apparent ion many other areas of the films. For example, Bud and Margaret come under abuse by Whitey and his henchman, because of the colour of Margaret skin and the relationship between the two. This has links to many of today's racial issues, for example, the debate over cross-race children and their labelling as 'half-casts'.

  2. Many would argue that men hold the power in "The Colour Purple". Explore the ...

    He barters by adding a cow to the deal and points out her positive sides, "she ain't no stranger to hard work, and she clean". Celie has the power to move on and almost start life again, partly through gaining financial power.

  1. Alice Walker's novel "The Third Life of Grange Copeland" - review

    even by the men of their own race, the men's refusal to accept the women as an essential and equal part of black society, is in fact contributing to their own oppression. Alice Walker attempts to show in the novel the oppression and brutality, that the black women of early twentieth century America had to endure.

  2. Alice Walker Uses Symbolism to Address Three Issues: Racism, Feminism and the Search for ...

    virtue of strong will and determination exemplified by doing what it takes to provide and care for the family. The male presence is absent from Mama's home. The only exceptions are the memories of hand constructed household items. No mention is made of a father.

  1. Explore the treatment of racism in one story from "Contemporary short stories".

    Thebedi's character is obedient, submissive and this is where the issue of race integrates with her character. Submission is the giving of one's self to a higher, superior being; in this case to Paulus, the white man. In this sense Thebedi as expected has to play a subtler role in their relationship as she lets Paulus dominate the whole show.

  2. This report is based on comparing six different documents.

    at a website it has a list of courses and mouse over hand clicking on a subject, because the prospectus is only 2/3rds of an A4 sheet of paper when opened it feels extra long. A special type of paper is used on the cover.

  1. The opening credit sequence of 'The Sopranos'.

    The letters spelling out 'The Sopranos' are thick and have blunt edges. The letters in the original are also large and white and stand out prominently from the black background. The typography used is illustrated below. This may be analysed semiotically as being a reflection of the character of Tony

  2. Harriet Jacobs and Harriet Beecher Stowe were among the many feminists and writers whom ...

    By continuing to teach herself to read and write Linda was able to establish her own intelligence and eventually outwit her own master. Harriet Jacobs' narrative is a powerful statement revealing the impossibility and undesirability of achieving the ideal put forth by men and maintained by women.

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