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Ideas And Themes In Writings English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 2289 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Writers use lots of literary techniques and features to support their ideas and themes in their writings.All those tehniques are design to manipulate and shape the readers perceptions.They position readers to respond to the writing in certain ways,either agreeing with or disputing those themes.Themes of allienation,nostalgia to love and loss are very often repeated in Literature.We can see this very clear in three short stories which I would like to write about , Erneast Hemingways ‘Hills Like White Elephants’,John Cheevers ‘The Enormous Radio’ and Doriss Lessing ‘To Room Nineteen’.In first story Hemingway tells us about inabillity to communicate effectively in a relationhip.Main characters got a huge difficulty in articulating their feelings which makes them frustrated with each other.In ‘The Enormous Radio’ we see themes such as addiction and loss of control,hidden secrets ans scandals and communication issues but they all lead to the main theme of this story which is loss of love.Last Doris Lessing story themes are theme of allienation,identity issue and loss of sense of being.Main character of this story,Susan is portrayed as a prisoner of ideology driven by sociaty that women are expected to be gladly and willingly acepting their repression and bondage.

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Narrative point of viewe is one of the first techniques which has huge influence on meaning and tone of the story.All stories are written in the same a third person point of viewe but with a little difference between them.Erneast Hemingway wrote ‘Hills Like White Elephants’ in third person point of view and objective which is limited to what characters say and do.He doesn’t reveal their thoughts ang feelings,as a readers we need to guess that by interpreting the text.In ‘Enormous Radio’ we see that narrator use the same third person point of viewe but it’s omniscient.He is able to describe not only each character’s actions but also their inside emotions,motives, and feelings.Sometimes narrator even takes subjective approach by describing one of the characters Irene as a self-centered women which is only concerned about how people viewe her and by describing Jim as a loyal and hard working man who tries very hard to give her and their children a comfortable life.In Doriss Lessings ‘To Room Nineteen’ story starts from the third person narrative point of viewe only to shift later in a story to first person point of viewe.Lessing uses stream of concioussness techinque and interior monologue which creates the impression for the reader that he is almost eavesdropping on the flow of concious experience in characters mind.This give a reader an acces to thoughts,emotions and sensations experienced by a character.

Varied details of setting and character has got a huge contributon to the maning of these short stories.Setting plays the biggest role in Hemingways story where even the title refers to symbolical importance of it.Jig,one of the characters of a story,by describing the hills that they look like white elephants refers to her pregnancy and the main issue of this story which is abortion.She describes the hills in the distance that they look like white elephants because American which she travells with,views the baby as an aproaching obstacle to their careless life.The rest of a setting also provides symbolism which express the tension and conflict between the couple.The train tracks going into two different directions,in between which couple sits at the train station might refer to couple being in the middle of making drastic decision. A couple is just like those tracks which run side by side but will never have a chance to meet. Different kind of land on both sides,on one green and fertile and on the other dry and without trees also describes their different viewe and interpretation of the dilemma of pregnancy.In ‘The Enormous Radio’,the arrival of the new radio which changes its setting,going deeper in the house,moving from the door to the middle of the living room behind the couch because of its physical ugnliness it seems to be like agressive intruder,intruding Irenes life.By listening to the radio which picks up noises and conversations from the whole building she also starts intruding on other people lifes.This is how we start to see huge change in Irene and her relationship with Jim.She gets involved in people lives heard on the radio so much she soon became depressed and changes from a pleasant, rather plain woman to a woman who doubts who she is and doubts in her relationship with her husband.They both start to realise there is a tension in their marriage,that Irene has many dark,deep secrets which she has hidden very well all these years and which she feels guilty about.Setting it’s not so important in this story.Narrator is trying to concentrate only on the radio,voices and music coming out of it which plays huge role in a story by shaping atmosphere of a story and also changing mood of a main characters.The same we will see in Doris Lessings story where there is less description on setting but this minimalism have huge importance for the meaning.This minimalism gives the reader a sense of unfulfilled emptiness of a relationshp between Susan and Matthew and emptiness in Susan’s life which is described as a desert which shows her hopelessness and depressesion.Also the empty room nineteen which in she spends most of a time describes Susan’s need of allienation.

Use of techniques such as irony,symbolism an understatement by wrtiers in those short stories has got a huge impact on themes.The most important in those stories is symbolism which is a use of symbols to represent or suggest other things or ideas.As said before in ‘Hills Like White Elephants’ we can already see symbolism in the title of a story.Jig refers to the hills that they look like white elephants to talk about abortion which is the main theme of this story.A white elephant is a largely useless object that is expenssive to own and maitain which symbolise a unborn baby.The whole symbolism of a setting is important in many ways which I already had a chance to analyse earlier.The rail tracks could symbolise Jigs and Americans relationship and being in the middle of making an important decision.Two sides of a station described in a story has it’s own meaning,green can by a symbol of life, baby, a new beggining and dry side can represent death and abortion.Irony in this story mainly shows Jig’s frustration towards the American and this is its main purpose.In conversation between them about licuorice and its familiar taste we can clearly see Jig is not only refering to a drink but also to their lifestyle which she is able to abandon at any point to settle down.I believe huge impact on the story has the last sentence spoken by Jig,when she tells the American she is fine.We can understand this sentence as an irony and that Jig will go through with the abortion because of her inability to communicate her feelings to the American wich leaves her frustrated and not being able to fight anymore.Also conversation between them,about such an important subject which is abortion,seems to be very simple,trivial and even pointless.The talk about good drinks and lovely hills is only a cover for a deadly argument.This tehnique used by Hemingway is called understatement.Again symbolism is used in Johns Cheever ‘The Enormous Radio’.It is mainly used to describe the hidden meaning of the radio from the title.It symbolise an addiction and loss of control.Irene gets so obssesed with listening to her friends and neighbours on the radio that she is not even interested anymore in her relationships with other people in real life.She prefers to go home and eavsdropp on them through the radio.Radio also symbolise a hidden secret and scandal.When Irene start to doubts happiness of her marriege,all secrets are being revealed like theft and abortion, which she was hiding all these years.Radio is also used as an irony.It was purchased to bring joy and happiness to Irenes and Jims life but it only caused trouble between them revealing deep and dark secrets.In ‘To the room nineteen’ again we can find symbolism in the title of a story.We see Susan as a woman who has been caught up in the web of the social roles in a community and she is trying to step out of this world into a world of her own making which is room nineteen.She is no longer a wife and mother in this room,she escapes her social role and she finally finds peace and freedom.We can see an irony in words describing Susan and Matthew as ‘intelligent’ which is the very characteristic that is their downfall.Although they do everything “sensibly” in their minds, their repression of her as a woman is anything but intelligent.Also Lessing use repetition technique, using word ‘intelligence’ fiftee times to make an irony even stronger.

Dialogues,conversations between characters have also big impact on the meaning of those stories.Hemingway story is told in third person point of viewe and it doesn’t tell us any facts about characters.This is why dialogue is important and we need to interpretate it to find out about attitudes oh the main characters towards each other.Their are able in this way to speak for themselve and we can also see through the tone and pattern of the dialogue,exsistence of a deep problem in their relationship.In ‘The Enormous Radio’ dialog has the same purpose.We are able through dialogue to find out more about characters thoughts and feelings.We also in a dialogue see a tension between main characters,which bilds up towards the end of the story.In the ‘To Room Nineteen’ Doris Lessing we can see through dialogues between Susan and Matthew the lack of communication in their married life.Lessing also use interior monologue to stress the meaning of the story.Through Susan’s interior monologue we can see her helplensness and emptiness of her marriage life.

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All those strories got their own specific structure which has an impact on the mood and atmosphere of these stories.In Hemingways ‘Hills Like White Elephants’ setting frames the story,it plays a crucial role in determining the atmosphere in his work. The choice of a setting and objects supports the sytuation and develops the story conflict.Also dialogues are holding the story together,they tell us about the main theme of a story.In ‘The Enormous Radio’ music frames the story, creates the mood and reveals the emotional transition of the characters.In ‘To Room Nineteen’ Doris Lessing is using more literary techniques in her writing to support the meaning. Narrator by changing the tone of language creates a mood.At the beggining of a writing words are longer which makes reading slower and creates very peacfull effect.But than towards the end of a story narrator is trying to create tension in a story and starts using shorter words which makes our reading much quicker.Also stream of conciousness technique adds dramatic effect to the story and without it writing would be very bland.

I have really enjoyed reading short stories,especially those three which I have chosen for this evaluation and analysis.Mainly I believe so because of female issues in sociaty presented in those stories.Earnest Hemingways ‘Hills Like White Elephants’ is deffinitelly my favourite.It is very interesting that narrator doesn’t reveal any informations about characters,what they think and feel.To find out we need to interpretate the text,in this case dialogue between them.Through reading the story I felt like sitting next to the couple,eavsdropping on their conversation.Because there is a huge communication issue between them and they are unable to reveal their true feelings again it is left to the reader to analyse what characters are really thinking.It also intrigued me how story shows a contrast between male and female viewe on relationsips.When abortion for Jig,killing their unborn baby is a huge decision for her,for American is only a simple operation ‘letting the air in’.He doesn’t identify himself with the baby which is an obstacle for him and his careless lifestale. I also found ‘The Enormous Radio’ very interesting to read.I think John Cheever through this story again proved the fact how communicating issues between people might affect their relationship.Irenes secrets and scandals creates tension between their marriage and they lead to loss of trust and love between them.The structure of a story has also catched my attention.I found it very interesting that music was creating the mood in the story and that music was revealing the emotional transition of the characters.In ‘To Room Nineteen’ I was hugle intrested in Lessings attitude towards female repression, alienation and escape which is all exposed in this story.She tries to explain how social, cultural, and ethic diversions,how they all limit women perspectives and experiences and their intellectual, spiritual, and emotional freedom.By indroducing us to the main character Susan,which entire exsistence was like prison,she tells us that this allienation might even result in mental breakdown.Short stories are very quick and enjoyable reading but still they have a huge depth and important message hidden in them.I would deffinitely recomend to others short stories which I had a chance to read and I will also continue to expand my experience as a reader.


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