The extract under analysis is written by an English novelist, playwright and a broadcaster, John Boynton Priestly. “Angel Pavement” is his novel published in 1930. It brought him a great success. Some problems are touched in this novel, for example, a problem of upbringing, a generation gap. Generally, Priestly touches upon problems in the society, emphasizes its inconsistency. The extract dwells upon a common dinner of a family. Mr. Smeeth, the head of a family, compares the behaviour of his children, George and Edna, today and several years ago.
He does not accept their views. A protagonist, Mr. Smeeth, presents a common father who wants an atmosphere of mutual aid, understanding and warmth in his family. Initially, Mr. Smeeth is disappointed by his daughter, he can’t understand her. She seems like smthunattractive for him anymore, for instance such words as with the help of which Mr. Smeeth describes his daughter “grayish-greenish-bluish eyes”, now he’s not sure, moreover he talks about it with some degree of disgust resorting to such kind of derivative.
Actually, practically the whole extract presents thoughts of the protagonist, his inner monologue, instead of the last one where the author by himself makes a kind of conclusion. Such words as “Mr. Smeeth eyed Edna severely; Edna annoyed him these days” can demonstrate Mr. Smeeth’s attitude towards Edna. John Priestly resorts to such a technique as “flashback”. So we can observe how Mr. Smeeth treats his daughter at her different ages.
A detached construction in the sentence “He had been very fond of her when she was a child – and, for that matter, he was still fond of her”, this compares his attitude in her childhood and nowadays when she is a teenager. From the point of view Mr. Smeeth, Edna is described with the help of parallel construction as “neither child nor adult, neither dependent nor independent”, again it proves that her father practically doesn’t know her.
There is an example of gradation in description of Edna by Mr. Smeeth’s words: “She was at her worst: languid and complaining, shrill and resentful, or sullen and tearful; Actually, the last extract presents a piece of argumentation in which the author by himself raises a problem of generation gap and gives examples. There is an example of metaphor “the product of a changing civilization”. It proves that they are people of a consumer generation. Also there is an example of parallel construction. Mr. Smeeth doesn’t consider his children as someone unique since it’s a characteristic of each parent to distinguish his child among others.
For him, George “a very bright promising boy”, actually only George has positive characteristics in comparison with Edna, however father is not satisfied with his inclinations, he doesn’t see any prospects in his life, moreover he doesn’t believe in his success. There is a bright example with the help of antithesis: “George was both a disappointment and a mystery”. Mr. Smeeth considers his children to be “foreigners”, people of different views, behavior, values. Actually, generation gap is an eternal problem which existed for many centuries.
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