Explore the Ways That Writers Use Contrast Within a Character or Between Characters to Interest the Reader or Audience.

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William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” and Michele Roberts’ “Your Shoes” both explore similar themes of contrast, particularly within characters to create interest for the reader or audience. Shakespeare’s play was written in the late 1500s, a time of strict gender and age roles where society was largely focussed on social class that was impacted highly on by religion. This in turn led to constant discrimination to those who were not in the highest social class. Despite “Your Shoes” being a much more modern piece, it still has plenty of similarities to “The Merchant of Venice” because of similar gender and age roles that have not – in relation to social class and religious discrimination – changed a lot within modern Britain.…show more content…
Roberts’ protagonist is also a very conflicting and contrasting character. The structure in ‘Your Shoes’ plays a huge part in conveying this, as well as the language. The short is written in 1st person from the point of view of the mother, with a basic structure composed of alternating positive and negative paragraphs to reflect upon her contrasting state of mind. Within the paragraphs the mother reminisces about the good times with her daughter and portrays her as almost perfect “You’re so innocent…You’re too trusting, too kind…” However her thoughts quickly shift to almost resenting her daughter “I don’t think you have a clue how we feel.” particularly when she talks about her mother and that “She spoiled you. She loved you more than she loved me. It isn’t fair.” This pattern of contrasting paragraphs continues throughout the short until line 163 where the paragraph lengths are dramatically cut, the sentences gradually become shorter and frequently jump between points. By line 183 the sentences are consistently short and the ‘paragraphs’ become so random they almost have no relation to each other. Roberts uses this technique effectively to represent the contrast within the Mother to interest the reader.

Similarly to Shakespeare, Roberts uses rhetorical questions particularly in the 7th paragraph to convey the continuous amount of pain the mother is going through with the loss and worry of her daughter. She does this by using 5 continuous

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