In three short paragraphs. Katherine Brush has managed to bring forth a superb treasure of a short – really short. in fact – narrative. “The Birthday Party” Tells of a twosome. “unmistakably married ( Brush 2 ) . ” and the black surprise that marked the husband’s birthday. The married woman. “fadingly reasonably. in a large chapeau ( 2 ) ” has planned a apparently innocuous and intimate party for her hubby. However. to her surprise. alternatively of having a warm. gratified smiling. he turns hostile and utters “some penalizing thing. speedy and curt and unkind ( 2 ) ” to his married woman. Even though “The Birthday Party” revolves merely around this remarkable act. Brush’s usage of different literary devices help to arouse the deepness and scope of emotions necessary to portray the subject of the narrative.
The chief subject of this narrative is inquiry of matrimonies and relationships. Initially. the hubby and married woman looked like any ordinary married twosome eating at a eating house. In fact. harmonizing to the storyteller. “there was nil conspicuous about them. nil peculiarly noticeable… ( 2 ) ” This line implies how they were moving like any regular twosome out for dinner. Yet. all of a sudden. at “the terminal of their repast. ” with the coming of the “small but calendered birthday bar. with one pink taper combustion in the center” to their tabular array. their existent relationship was revealed ( 2 ) . The man’s reaction. ab initio. called for the storyteller to side with the married woman: “Oh. now. don’t be like that! ( 2 ) ” But. the storyteller finally realizes that the hubby “was like that. ” wary being the centre of attending. In the terminal. incrimination is passed on both sides: the husband’s unbending and inflexible ways that was hurtful to his married woman. and the fact that the adult female did non cognize her hubby good plenty to cognize that he would non like the attending generated by her small surprise.
One technique employed by Katherine Brush to explain this subject is the usage of sarcasm. In this narrative. it is situational sarcasm that is most easy detected. as this is the Southern Cross and major struggle of the narrative. What the married woman expected to go on did non ; alternatively. the opposite happened. As the captain brought out the bar. the orchestra played. and the other eating house frequenters clapped their custodies. it became clear that the small surprise intended for the hubby would turn out to. ironically. be besides a surprise for the married woman. Not merely was she shocked at her husband’s reaction. she was besides shocked to larn that she did non cognize him to the full good. after all. Furthermore. it was non merely the married woman who was surprised – even the other invitees were surprised. with the narrator’s initial reaction was to call on the carpet – mutely – the hubby to “not be like that. ” Another signifier of sarcasm in the narrative is verbal sarcasm. which appears at the start of the narrative:
There was nil conspicuous about them. nil peculiarly noticeable until the terminal of their repast. when it all of a sudden became obvious that this was an Occasion — in fact. the husband’s birthday. and the married woman had planned a small surprise for him. ( 2 )
“Occasion” here does non connote a particular. of import. or happy event. which the husband’s birthday should hold been. Alternatively. “occasion” here is used ironically. as the flood tide of the narrative shows. Alternatively of the birthday being a existent “occasion. ” what the writer intends to state is that it is non the birthday that is to be the “occasion” but something wholly different. Furthermore. the initial “o” of the word “occasion” is capitalized. Because of this calculated manner of spelling. the readers are signaled that “occasion” is non to be used in the ordinary sense of the word. And when the orchestra returns to sing “Happy Birthday to You. ” another verbal sarcasm is exhibited. Based on the husband’s reaction and his hostile mode of demoing it to his married woman. there was nil really happy about the juncture.
In the narrative. there are really of import symbols used that developed the subject. the struggle. and the declaration of the narrative. One of the most obvious symbols is the “small but calendered birthday bar. ” In the short narrative. the bar symbolized the surprise. It was able to reflect the true position of the couple’s relationship by virtuousness of its rubric. which implies a brooding surface. even though it was described as little. Another symbol used in the narrative is the “best hat” of the married woman. which was described by the storyteller as holding a “gay large lip. ” It stands for the character of the married woman. which is – as could be extrapolated from the events – extroverted. She merely wanted to demo her best to the outside universe. non minding whether or non her hubby would really wish her small surprise.
Finally. the usage of the first-person narrative adds to the play of the narrative. The actions of the storyteller are intertwined with the actions of the twosome as they are being observed. When the married woman was punished by her hubby for the surprise. the storyteller “stared at [ her ] home base and waited for rather a long clip ( 2 ) . ” By including her ain actions and emotions in the narrative. the storyteller adds a new deepness of emotion to the narrative. It farther draws in the reader to besides experience the understanding that the storyteller is experiencing for the married woman.
As the storyteller ends her history of the incident. wherein the married woman is described as “crying softly and heartbrokenly and hopelessly. all to herself. under the homosexual large lip of her best chapeau. ” it is established that the storyteller has succeeded in going one with the narrative she is narrating. This escalates the temper established. and leaves an feeling of both commiseration and understanding for the married woman. Such emotions are non easy to portray if the storyteller were merely depicting the scene. narrating it with nonpartisanship and withdrawal. This technique. every bit good as the other literary devices used throughout the really short narration. all come together to non merely develop the cardinal subject of the narrative. All service besides to deeply prosecute the reader. which help do the narrative successful in its portraiture of human dealingss and emotions.
Brush. Katherine. “The Birthday Party. ” 22 March 2007. & lt ; module. elgin. edu/sdye/docs/LIT % 20201. 200/LIT % 20201 % 20F % 20Theme/LIT % 20201 % 20Theme % 20handout. physician & gt ;