The extract from Oliver twist, a prose fiction/novel is set when Oliver and his companions in the workhouse go though there daily feeding of gruel. The primary purpose of the extract is to entertain as it is a novel but the extract also has secondary purposes which are to describe the living conditions for work house children and to criticize them by making the reader side with the children. This is done by Syntactic parallelism ‘desperate with hunger and reckless with misery’ these repeated adjectives hunger, reckless and misery portray how the children are feeling and has more effect on the reader.
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The inequality of the Victorian era is presented in this passage by the forms of address used. Oliver addresses the master with sir and bumble addresses Mr limbkins as sir showing a hierarchy. Also the Imperative ‘compose yourself, bumble’ shows the inequality between the master and bumble as the master is ordering him to do something. The semantic field of quantities and size ‘one porringer, and no more’ ‘spoons being as large as the bowls’ represents how little they get and the contrast of master being ‘fat and healthy’ and the children ‘sucking their fingers assiduously’ emphasizes there difference.
You are made to feel sorry for the main character Oliver by the amount of verbs used ‘winked’ ‘nudges’ ‘whispered’ he is given all the pressure by his fellow work house children to ask for more food. The noun excitement from ‘Mr Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement’ shows that Mr Bumble is enjoying the fact he is getting Oliver in trouble and that the children live in quite a hostile environment.
The extract from more pricks than kicks is a short story about a man named Belacqua who is ritualising over his food alone in solitude. It starts with a complex sentence ‘He must be left strictly alone, he must have complete quiet and privacy, to prepare the food for his lunch.’ This also has a whole paragraph to its self and the repetition of the pronoun ‘he’ makes it sound important that he is on his own.
The sequence connectors ‘first’ ‘now’ ‘then’ make it seem controlled, repetitive therefore showing the ritualization of the food and the methodical way it is prepared by Belacqua. The lexical field of violence ‘assassin’, ‘cut’ and ‘snatched’ used portrays Belacqua’s abnormality, also the hint at weapons with lexis like ‘saw’ and ‘long barrel’ adds to this notion. The verb ‘ face’ and adjective ‘ alive’ describing the bread make imagery like it is living and he is making is living sacrifice in the ritual emphasized by the simple sentence ‘ he burnt his offerings’. The third person narration sides with Belacqua and makes the reader sympathise with him because it is not in first person.
The adjectival phrases ‘strictly alone’ and ‘complete quiet and privacy’ tell that Belacqua enjoys the solitude. The use of irony ‘everything must be done properly’ when he has in fact burnt the toast and sees this as proper shows his abnormality to the reader.
Both texts have highlighted the value of food as being very precious. In more pricks than kicks the food is ritualised by the sequence connectors ‘first’ ‘then’ ‘now’ used to show how controlled and methodical he is being with the food. In Oliver twist the value of food to the children in the work house is so much that they seem to be turned feral by not having enough, the verbs ‘devoured’, ‘ voracious and wild’ creates animalistic imagery
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