Commentary on Lorna Sage’s Bad Blood Essay

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Commentary on Lorna Sage’s Bad Blood

This passage, consisting of three paragraphs, out of Lorna Sage’s Bad Blood, is presented by an all-knowing first-person narrator. It revolves around a young girl’s, the narrator’s, school life and childhood experiences. It follows the evolution of a friendship between the narrator and her dear friend, or shall we say her “sworn enemy”(l 11), who is first introduced in the second paragraph, “Gail…had hair in ringlets, green-hazel eyes and pale, clear, slightly olive skin stretched tight and shiny over her muscles…” (ll 11-13).

The narrator first encounters Gail by having “fierce contests in the yard, duels almost…” (l 8) against her. At this point the
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Gail’s ascendancy is further demonstrated at the beginning of the third paragraph, “Once she’d thoroughly trounced me in public, Gail ignored me and held court in her own corner every playtime.” (ll 21-22). This also represents Gail’s physical advantage and her independent ability of holding court in her “own corner”.

Regardless of their conflicts, however, the narrator seems to admire Gail, which further demonstrates the idea of Gail’s supremacy; describing her as, “wiry and graceful” (l 19) and “she was so physically confident, in charge of her body even when she was five.”(ll 14-15). The narrator’s reverence is emphasized through the use of words such as “so” and “even” highlighting that it is unusual and extraordinary of a child of five to be “so” physically confident. The narrator is not the only one who looks up to Gail, “Other little girls might admire the ringlets and the dresses with smocking on the yokes, and the white socks that stayed up…” (ll 22-24).

In the second paragraph we read that the narrator eventually becomes friends with Gail, “In fact, she did become my very best friend, years later,” (ll 9-10). Instead of constantly arguing and fighting with each other they; “went round holding hands painfully fast and giggling together hysterically,” (ll 10-11). This could portray the contrast between expressing friendship when young and
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