8a) Write about how Faulks tells the story in the first section of part two, beginning with the words ???Jack firebrace lay forty-five feet??¦ and ending in a rising melody under the scratch of a thick gramaphone needle??™. Pages 121-139 (21 marks)
Throughout the novel, Sebastian Faulks uses a variety of literary devices to ensure that the novel is gripping for the reader. At the very beginning of section two, Faulks ensures that he enlightens the reader into the time and place of which the next section entails, France 1916. This is a major aspect as to which helps to immediately paint a picture in the readers mind as to when it was set as it is clear that the story jumps in time. Anybody would recognise that 1916 was in fact during the first world war which, as previously said, already creates a certain atmosphere. Other than the Place and the time-frame, there is hardly any sort of form to the section at all. There is a lack of chapter headings or numbering which gives more of this mysterious feel. It enables the reader to evaluate the book themselves, involving them in the storyline. Faulks does make use of paragraphs with indentation and small line gaps or breaks in text which enables the reader to digest what was previously read. The effect of the small line gaps in text help to create a change in scene but nothing to major that there needs to be a change in section.
Faulks has used the introductory paragraph to not only introduce a new character, but to also enlighten the reader as to the setting of the coming section. The reader is already enlightened into the idea that it is around the first world war and this is most definitely backed up by the descriptions used in the first paragraph. ???Jack Firebrace lay forty-five feet underground with several hundred thousand tons of France above his face??™. This immediately shows the reader of one of the many complex jobs used in the war, a tunneller. This sentence alone helps to show the severity of the war just by simply stating how far underground these men are. Faulks is immaculate at describing the subtle details in which emphasise the horrific sights of the war without actually making it obvious. ???His back was supported by a wooden cross??™. This is a subtle hint to the war as a wooden cross is in fact an image which is used to remember lost soldiers. This almost symbolises straight away the common ending of war and the reality of how many men and women lost their lives fighting for their country. Another connotation that is alluded with the idea of a wooden cross would be that of Jesus. It is well known that Jesus had been crucified on a wooden cross. So not only does this cross a symbol of respect for those who had died, it also has this religious connotation. Also in the introductory paragraph, and the introductory line, the reader is immediately introduced to a new character, Jack Firebrace. Jack is one of the tunnellers who the reader follows throughout the story. His life becomes an iconic feature throughout as his life and future traumatic experiences strengthen this horrific idea of war. The fact that Faulks has decided to tell the reader very little information about who and where he is, throws the reader into the storyline. He uses a plunge opening in this section as he begins the section with an explosion and throws the reader straight into the storyline with very little information. This sort of beginning is also used in the very beginning of the story in section one. The idea that Faulks is throwing the reader straight into the plot helps to show the intensity of this fast paced section in contrast to the slow paced romance beginning.
Faulks has included a personal letter adressed to Firebrace from his wife, Maragret. Up to this point in the novel, the reader is unaware of any personal information about Firebrace and therefore this letter helps to enlighten the reader. The letter itself helps to show more about Jacks family at home as the reader is now aware that he is married and has a child. ???I am very sorry to tell you that little John has been taken ill??™. The letter itself helps to show yet nother perspective on the idea of war, the family left behind. The reader is reminded that war is such a massive ordeal and it does not just affect those in the frontline but those waiting at home for their loved ones repatriation. This not only helps to show the reader that he is a family man, but also brings the reader back to reality as they in fact are reminded that death and illness happens everywhere not just at war. This helps to prepare the reader for later events in the novel like the multiple deaths faced. Due to the letter being so personal, the reader feels slightly more attached to the characters knowing the history and life they have at home. This just makes their death have such significance to the storyline as the reader follows them closely throughout the novel.
There is a variety of dialogue used throughout the pages given as there is a lot of conversational speech between the men themselves. Within the speech it becomes apparent to the reader of the classes within the workforce as those who are of a lower class often speak with more common language. ???I??™d not slept??™. ???The human anatomy is extraordinarily simple.??™ This shows that higher classed men, such as Weir and Wraysford, are much more articulated in speech. This just helps to emphasise the idea that there was such a variety of classes. Usually, different social classes would create a tense atmosphere but due to the situation that these men are in, they fit together without any problems. Not only does this show a sense of community but it just proves that there is very little difference between anyone at this time, all these men were in the same situation and they had to make the most of it.
Another literary device used in this section is the use of a flash back. This interrupts the chronological sequence to enlighten the reader into a part of Jack??™s past as he reminisces about a time that he had spent at home with family. ???He thought for a second that he was standing in the lighted bar of a London pub??™. Not only does this help the reader to connect to Jack but it gives the reader an insight of how different the setting is for them during the war, to life back at home. It??™s flash backs like these that cause a sense of realism within the story.
The language throughout this section, due to it being fast paced in parts, is short and sudden. This helps to emphasise the idea that war itself is a stressful time and has such an impact on the men themselves. It is plain to see that this section is purely a war scene and the language that Faulks uses represents this. Faulks also uses such in-depth descriptions to set the scene and atmosphere. ???Jack saw part of Turners face and hair still attached to a piece of skull rolling to a halt???. This helps to emphasise the horrific scenes saw by these men and even though the descriptions are awful, they are done so subtly that it almost affects the reader more as they it shows more feelings. Certain aspects of this section are extremely gripping to the reader as there is a number of shell explosions. Faulks uses immaculate detail to give this impression. ??? ???Christ??? said Turner ???I can??™t breathe??? ???. Times like this in the novel just add to the overwhelming feeling portrayed by the men. Not only is the language descriptive, it is extremely emotive. Faulks has very cleverly ensured that each and every tense and dramatic moment is backed up with the idea of thoughts and feelings. Overall, the book itself is written in the third person narrative which, specifically in this section, helps the reader to observe the events from the senses and thoughts of the characters involved.
In conclusion to this, Faulks makes good use of a variety of literary devices. Without them, the novel would not be as effective, both emotionally and mentally, as it is. The devices grab the reader??™s attention from the off set and this is remained throughout the novel indefinitely. Not only does he just use the devices, he ensures that each one is supported by the particular characters thoughts and feelings, which like the aspects of narrative, enables the reader to be thrust into the story.
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