Thursday, August 20, 2009

story analysis on dill pickle by katherine mansfield; NITE OF THE IGUANA Cecil Rajendra ;DAY OF WRATH The Schoolboy’s Tale Christina Stead; A LETTER

Katherine Mansfield

Vera •Love interest of the man in the story. She was the person who had caused the man to break his heart.
“And now I understand so perfectly why you wrote to me as you did. Although at the time that letter nearly finished my life.”
•Comes from a rich family
“But of that evening she had remembered a little pot of caviar. It had cost seven and sixpence. While she ate it he watched her, delighted and shocked.”

Man •The person who loved Vera. He had spent his past years, after breaking up with Vera, going in to different countries. His sad past changed him.
“He was certainly far better looking now than he had been then. He had lost all that dreamy vagueness and indecision. Now he had the air of a man who has found his place in life, and fills it with confidence and assurance, which was to say at least, impressive. He must have made money too. His clothes were admirable.”
•His affection towards Vera was so great.
“What I really wanted then,” he said softly, “was to be a sort of carpet, to make myself in to a sort of carpet for you to walk on so that you need not be hurt by the sharp stones and the mud that you hated so. “
“It was nothing more positive than that… nothing more selfish. Only I did desire, eventually, to turn into a magic carpet and carry you away to all those lands you longed to see. “

The story started when Vera had seen the man that she used to love. He was sitting at one of those little bamboo tables decorated with a Japanese vase of paper daffodils, peeling an orange. The man, upon seeing Vera must have felt that shock of recognition towards her for he looked up and met her eyes.
The man invited Vera to sit with him and have coffee. Vera complied. He was telling her about the places he had been through the past years, with much emphasis on the country of Russia: he said, “it has been very wonderful especially Russia. Russia is all that we had imagined, and far, far more. I even spent some days on a river boat in Vaga.”
As the range of their conversation heightens, he shifted the topic from the sharing of his experiences in his travels to the different countries, to talking about their past relationship and how it had affected him when they part ways. The following lines present the man’s confrontation of his feelings, thoughts, and reactions towards his meeting with Vera and their lost love.
He said,” it seems ages ago. I cannot believe that it is only six years. After I had recognized you today, I had to take a leap over my whole life to get back to that time. “
“…although at that time that letter nearly finished my life. I have found it again the other day, and I couldn’t help laughing as I read it.”

Vera then realized how this man had been hurt, his true love for her, and how she herself regretted the things she had done from the past .
“Ah, God! What had she done! How had she dared to throw away her happiness like this. This is the only man who had ever understood her. Was it too late? Could it be too late?”
The man sighted reasons why their relationship had failed.
“It simply was that they were such egoist, so self-engrossed , so wrapped up in ourselves that we hadn’t a corner in our hearts for anybody else.”
And as he did this, Vera walked away. He had sat there, thunderstrucked, astounded beyond words.


A Dill Pickle, written by Katherine Mansfield is an epitome of a typical lost love that had been forsaken for many years, and was once again reopened to discover reasons that were not clarified, and feelings that were not expressed. The story was entitled “A Dill Pickle” for it signifies a preserved opportunity, preserved emotions that remained in the casket of silence, much more similar to a dill pickle preserved in a jar.
Could Vera love the man? What underlying reasons did occur to her during the stage of her wanting to leave the man? Did the man still love her despite what she did to him? Could there be a second chance for their relationship to sprout again if given the proper opportunity?
These are just some of the few questions that would surely be raised as the story. Apparently, the first question could be answered base on the lines of Vera in the story. She did love the man, for if she didn’t, she would not be affected by the man’s confrontation on her. She would not have had a great sense of guiltiness, feeling as a culprit. Maybe Vera herself discovered something that made her decide to leave the man. Maybe her family had something to do with her choice. Human as we are, we are bound to vulnerability and a change of mind. It could also be seen that the man still has this feelings towards Vera. But his disappointment prevailed more than his affection towards her.
Oftentimes, we seldom see the worth of something or someone unless it is gone. We may even rush into choosing decisions, executing them hastily without weighing it first, and later end up regretting. There was also the social class issue.

Cecil Rajendra

• Dat ting, Dat ting - no erection
• Bomoh – quak doctor, an albularyo
• Thungachee – sex pleasure
• Mata – Mata – policemen
• Dadah – drugs

- S. Adinarayan is the persona in the poem. He is a man who desire to solve her wife’s complain regarding his manhood.

She say,” You know lah
Dat ting, Dat ting…
No mo fun, too far lah”
- A man who seeks the help of a bomoh, rather than going to a certified doctor.

It is evident, through the words and the construction of each sentence that the poem uses Pidgin English (Malaysian). It was an effective style of giving emphasis on the kind of character the persona was and the environment he was in. The author Cecil Rajendra was a Malaysian and have somewhat affected her poems in terms of using Malaysian words such as bomoh, thungachee, mata-mata. It can also be observed that the author based the poem to a news item for the following reasons:
1. The situation of the persona in the poem could be news itself.
2. It depicts a sense of information for the people like the information news are providing and;
3. Same as news, it [poem] presents a scenario that would happen in real-life situation. If such case had been known to the media, surely it would arouse the public’s interest.
There is desperation at the beginning of the poem when the persona finds his way to a quak doctor, looking for solutions into pleasing in terms of his sexual life.
“So nex day after work
I go to see dis bomoh
Explain my deligate probrem.

I say, “Come on, Pachee
Doan play de fool wit me
Tell me how much lah?
I no cheepstake wan
Money no probrem when it
Coming to looking after
Der wife an der thungachee.”
And later on realization…
“Eye-yo, kada vally, so much trubble
Lah brudder, an all becoz I took
Three leetle egg of de iguana
To help, you know lah, tahan lama.”

In general, the selection shows a somewhat hilarious mood. It does not presents a serious situation, but rather whimsical. A married man who was confronted by her wife about her dilemma in terms of their intimacy was the main idea of the poem. S. Adinarayan let his problem be solved by going into a bomoh. The bomoh suggested that the best cure for hid problem was the eggs of the iguanas (three eggs). He must swallow it whole with honey. He did as he was told so. When he reached home he suddenly experienced stomach pain and constipation. He was then admitted to the hospital the nest day.
“I go home ready for ackshun
But all I get is plenny
Stomach-ake and constipayshun
Adoi, pain tervor, brudder
Mus go to Hospital Besar.”

The doctor, having been examined him decided that he should be operated right away. As they put him to beds, he was handcuffed and policemen were everywhere. The police suspected that he was smuggling drugs in his stomach. S. Andinarayan was bewildered by the thought and explained that those objects were eggs of the iguanas. But the head of the police did not believed him until such time when the result of the test was released that proven him innocent.

The Schoolboy’s Tale
Christina Stead

In a place Avallon, a watershed village in a seaport. It was a sound and jolly village yet closed with judgments on the standard that the society shows. Later on, it turn into sorrowful one but remains the standard they have holding up.

The Schoolboy (The Narrator) - a conscientious boy when he alones (assumingly) sees just in the female character's dignity and worth. He is emotional. He feels the poor family that was also despised by poor families in the society.

Viola - she is 14 years old. She was pretty and thin with long black hair and an intelligent girl. She had deprived from the privilege she ought to have as a student, as an individual and has the right to live in a free and just way.

Viola’s brother - He was 10 years old. Young and might not be able to understand how judgmental the standard of the society is. He was not given emphasis in the selection.

Viola’s mother - wife of a cabinet minister who was a rich man. She was also pretty where her daughter inherit the beauty. She was dark and sweet woman. Likewise, she was also been discriminated and deprived to live in harmonious life. But even with that case she still pertains goodness in her personality though very ironic to the event that she committed adultery yet she never addresses pride and anger towards these people who have never understood her.

It was started with an intriguing question which gives a hint or it foreshadows the main event if the story. It was presented using a metaphorical question that invites reader to think and analyze more the situation. It also shows an allegory of a bee dies in the forest that is in the lieu of the main character/s in the short story. More than that, details were ironically written.
The story basically tells how judgmental the society is and how it sets standards or norms, which they consider as righteous but no one would know that each has its own hidden agenda and flaws on their own sleeves. The society between an adulterer as a reason why they condemned viola's mother and so as the family. Sad to say how people are so naive on their own dirt while very concern of others mistakes and rude on neighbor's imperfection.
Tension begun when 30 schoolchildren riding on a ferry meets a terrible accident where the ferry sinks with the 30 young souls into the deep. Because of the event, darkness covers the entire village.

*DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN. Women during before they totally gain respect and power were discriminated in many sorts, privilege and rights. It will be a big issue, of course it is, if it would be women being unfaithful to their marriage and man's is forgivable.

Point of View
It was presented in a first person point of view. The schoolboy narrates his own observations and experiences that also shows his emotions. Though it was not clearly stated that the speaker was a male except from the subtitle, but this can be proven right citing the 2nd sentence in the 4th paragraph, " I raised my hat" meaning the description itself shows masculinity.

The author used Media Res as it's mean in opening a situation though it does not vividly affirmed but it was presented in a highly intellectual way using different kinds if figurative language.
The story was not shown in a simple way yet presents a common conflict like in the real life situation.
Gregorio Lopez Y Fuentes

Setting A house set in the crest of a valley. Below the valley were river and corrals with the field of ripe rice with the kidney-bean flowers. It was a a place of abundance and joy but it does not support a best place to settle in because it was vulnerable in many calamities.

Lencio - a very hardworking and dedicated man to his field, which was visible in the selection "who knew his field intimately". It may not be clearly stated in the story but likewise he is also a dedicated father and husband to his family. He was a man with no proper education or has reached a high level of education but he can write and read. He was also an emotive person. He easily gets carried away of his emotion, reacting to a situation even if things has not been proven yet. He also shows that he is a man with faith in God.
Woman - Lencio's wife's name was not mentioned but it can be seen in the story that she was a supportive and caring wife and a mother.
Postman - a man with no conviction, tries to negate the innocent way of Lencio's way of asking God.
Postmaster - a fat, amiable fellow shows longing for God trough his reaction in appreciating and wishing he has the faith that Lencio showed. He has a kind heart which he somewhat granted the prayer of Lencio by giving a part of his salary, asking some money from his working and obliging some friends to give as an act of charity.
Plot Analysis
It creates an image of a place showing the abundance and good of nature and how also one lives because it needs something from nature . It is like all living things can not live alone on its own, there must be a communion with other living things.
The rain was a symbol of hope and a prosper life. Snow was a symbol of pain and disappointments but tested one's faith. The changes of climate slowly unwrapped the man's nature as a sensitive, vulnerable and a confidence that one day can get through all its problem.
But what makes it worst, it is when man can't seem to understand the events, so strong that it destroys property even once faith and is no longer beneficial. Faith only comes when we are have all the control and necessities to attain all our needs but it will be weaken when we can't hold on things right and has no power to control on it. We always appreciate things which we like and we always assumes that what we like will always be God' plan. Unfortunately, God's plan is not a matter of likes and dislikes. And it always ask our deepest yearning to God and to trust in Him. But even if we lose faith we should know how to stand and be optimistic. Prayers should not be a thing when we are strong but best in all when one is down. "The best time to pray is when you don't feel like praying".
It depicts the man's nature to do and think good and evil. There are a lot of circumstances that affects man's behavior on a such when he has been deprived and very sensitive.

Man's longing to survive one can simply thinking with no other option tends to be selfish and greedy.
Lencio show a perfect example of one who barks on one's house aggressively without knowing the whole story. He directly judge the people involve in sending the letter without realizing how they have helped him for him to have money.
If God permits our prayers but it does not satisfies us, we complain not thinking that everything has its own reason. Always asking for more and not being contented of what is offered.
Faith is also the fuel of Lencio's life.
Point of View
The selection has an selected omniscient point of view where it states all the possible feelings, thoughts and reactions of a certain character.

The events were presented chronologically. Simple words were used and are very considerate to all kinds of readers.