The Little Stranger Analysis

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Yuliya Zubrilina
Text analysis of “The little stranger” by Sarah Waters

“The Little Stranger” is a 2009 gothic novel written by Sarah Waters. It is a ghost story set in a dilapidated mansion in Warwickshire, England in the 1940s. This novel features a male narrator, a country doctor who makes friends with a family with faded fortunes left simply with a very old estate that is crumbling around them. The stress of reconciling the state of their finances with the familial responsibility of keeping the estate coincides with perplexing events which may or may not be of supernatural origin, culminating in tragedy.
Reviewers note that the themes in “The Little Stranger” are alternately reflections of evil and the social upheaval of the class
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At the beginning of the extract long, complex sentences are mostly used: Ever since her arrival she 'd been keeping up a rather monotonous show of being frightened of Gyp, ducking ostentatiously behind her mother 's skirts whenever his friendly wanderings around the room took him near her. But in the second part, when the tragedy happened, the author employs mainly short simple sentences to convey the shock and the state of the main characters: Gyp had bitten her. The poor child was white and rigid with shock. This technique creates an antithesis between the peaceful state at the beginning of the evening and between the atmosphere of a catastrophe later.

In the analyzed extract the author’s speech prevails, but there are also few dialogue lines, which are presented mostly by short queues: Look at her! I’ll need water. Also in the dialogue lines the author resorts to lexical repetitions: Christ! Christ! Look at the state of her! But she’ll have to be stitched. Stitched quite extensively, I’m afraid; and as sooner as possible. Stitched?
All these devices are employed to convey a state of shock and the atmosphere of the tragedy.

The peculiarity of the first two paragraphs is a wide usage of such stylistic devices, which author employed in order to create the tense atmosphere of a tragedy. The text under analysis is very emotive and causes the reader a sense of terror.

Yuliya Zubrilina
Перевод “The little
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