The text under analysis is taken from the book Doctor in the House written by Richard Gordon.

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“Doctor in the House” by R. Gordon

The text under analysis is taken from the book “Doctor in the House” written by Richard Gordon. Richard Gordon is the pen name used by Gordon Ostlere, an English surgeon and anaesthetist. As Richard Gordon, Ostlere has written numerous novels, screenplays for film and television and accounts of popular history, mostly dealing with the practice of medicine. He is most famous for a long series of comic novels on a medical theme starting with Doctor in the House. Gordon worked as anaesthetist at St. Bartholomew's Hospital (where he was a medical student) and later as a ship's surgeon and as assistant editor of the British Medical Journal. In 1952, he left medical practice and took up writing full time.

The text is devoted to the final examinations at the medical institutions and tells us about the condition of students before, during and after exams. It begins with the comparison the final exams with death; this image presents the students’ attitude to the event. The author gives the description of preparation for the examinations.   Then the narrator depicts the procedure of the exams which consists of two parts:  written papers, after which one of the students gives a very specific theory of the way the tripos is marking at Cambridge; and the viva – the oral examination, before which he characterizes different types of candidates’ behavior anticipating it. After that the reader gets know about the process of announcing of the results. The story ends with the detailed description of the emotional state of the author before the very moment of his success. At the end learn that he passed the exams.

This extract is constructed around the single theme which can be formulated as procedure of the exams. The author uses numerous thematic words, such as:  the student, the final examinations, the exams,  to prepare, the examiners, cheating, textbooks, to swot up, the written papers, uniformed, examinees, knowledge, tripos, viva, marking, grading, to pass and so on.

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Besides the basic theme the text touches upon many very important secondary themes: the psychological types of students, cheating at the exams, students’ prejudice, disadvantage of women student at the exams, the psychological pressure of the process of the examination on the students.

The main idea conveyed by the author may be expressed as: the final examinations are reason for a great psychological pressure and a real challenge for the students.  The following key words can prove it: student, exams, viva, writing papers, contest, prize-fighter, fighting spirit, to hope, to hit, depressing and others.

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