Wednesday, October 20, 2010

S5S6: Intermediate 2 'The Dangerous Ones'

Setting in Chapter Eight
In class we examined chapter eight of Vernon Scannell's novel 'The Dangerous Ones'.
One of the important aspects of the chapter (which is the climax of the novel) was the way in which Scannell used details of setting (the building thunderstorm) to mirror the increasing drama. The increasingly threatening weather complemented the growing tension and contributed to the dramatic atmosphere.

"The sun had disappeared and the sky was darkening slowly to a bruised purple." (p. 60)

"A deep growl of thunder sounded and almost immediately rain began to drum against the windows. Lightning ripped across the sky, another thunder-roll, and the rain's tattoo became frenzied." (p. 64)

"Robert looked towards the windows as the rain continued to hurl itself in great flurries against the panes." (p, 65)

"Robert nodded and set off again through the rain. Lightning flashed and flickered and was followed by an explosive crack and rumble of thunder. he wished that the lightning would strike him dead, for he believed that he did not deserve to live." (p. 68 - the chapter's final paragraph.)

As the final quote suggests, things have really changed for Robert. Life is no longer calm and peaceful.

Contrast with the Opening
This description of setting contrasts with the opening sentence of the novel:

"The sky was blue and almost cloudless and the sun burned with a steady heat which made the stone pavings which surrounded the swimming-pool hot to the bare feet of the bathers."

Back at the opening of the story, Robert seemed bored with the lazy days of summer and found them tedious. By the end of chapter eight, however, it seems like he would be glad if things returned to the way they were. He is not enjoying his experience but can never return to the more peaceful, innocent days.

No comments: