Analysis “From W.S.”

6 June 2017

Analysis of the text ‘W. S. ” The text under analysis is an extract from a short story “W. S. ” by Leslie Poles Hartley, a well-known British novelist and short story writer best-known for his novels which include “Eustace and Hilda” trilogy (1947) and “The Go-Between” (1953). The story “W. S. ” comes from “The complete short stories” of L. P. Hartley published posthumously in 1973. The story “W. S. ” is about a novelist Walter Streeter who one day gets a postcard from Forfar signed W. S. He doesn’t pay any attention to this as he is used to get letters and he tears it.

Later he gets 2 more postcards from Berwick-on- Tweed and York Minster. Getting them Walter Streeter becomes interested in the author. He notices that the author has the same initials as he has and that makes him think about him more. His friend supposes W. S. to be a woman who has taken a fancy to Walter Streeter. When he gets the 4th postcard he becomes afraid as it was from Coventry and W. S. writes about his coming nearer. That makes Walter Streeter go to the police but they think it to be a hoax and advise him to come if he get some postcards more. The main character of the story is Walter Streeter.

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His character is round and dynamic. He is not stable throughout the extract. In the beginning of the story his attitude to the postcards is quite indifferent, but later when the postcards acquire more perilous nature, Walter Streeter feels less confidence and he is even a bit threatened. The author uses indirect method of characterization; L. P. Hartley Just gives clues about what kind of person Walter Streeter is through his words, actions and reaction of the other characters to him, in particular his friend’s attitude, who is ifficult to be called a friend, and the police’s attitude to him.

The author perfectly shows his personality through his thoughts: Walter Streeter compares himself with many famous people even if he is unknown beginner writer. Walter Streeter is a very inattentive person as he doesn’t even notice that the W/ S/ has the same initials as he does. Another main character of the story is W. S. the author doesn’t give us too many details about him or her. He Just gives clues that this kind of person doesn’t really admire Walter Streeter as a brilliant writer. We could only Judge of his personality through the postcards, through the vocabulary he uses.

The minor character of the story is Walter Streeter’s friend. It is difficult to name him a friend as he doesn’t even behave in such a way. When Walter Streeter comes to ask for a piece of advice he suggests such a silly and feeble hypothesis that t creates the feeling that he said this just to make Walter Streeter go away and not bother him with his questions. His role in Walter Streeter’s life is not important, Walter Streeter may be wants to think him to e his friend but actually he understands that it is not possible.

That is why I think he doesn’t even have a name or any direct or even indirect description as describing his character is real spending of time. The author uses the third-person narrator, which means that the narrator doesn’t participate in the story, he is a reporter of actions and speeches. But the distinctive feature of this story is that even if the author is not a participant of the actions we feel his presence in Walter Streeter ‘s character, it means that the author can insert his mind.

The story belongs to postmodernism iterary trend but it also has some elements of different styles, for example an such real people as Gilbert, Maugham, Shakespeare. The story is written in simple language. The author uses common literary words so the text is easy to read. The tone of the author throughout the extract is ironic and sarcastic. While telling us about the postcards the author uses an epithet “firm handshake” which in real life it turns out to be not very firm. He also uses many stylistic devices in order to make the reader understand what kind of person Walter Streeter is.

He writes that after getting nother postcard “a wave of panic surged up in Walter Streeter. ” This device again proves him to be diffidence. In order to create the atmosphere that the narrator and Walter Streeter is the same person the narrator uses such stylistic device as “Perhaps I was getting into groove. ” This creates the understanding of the narrator and Walter Streeter to be closer than we could imagine. As we see the language of the writer is very rich and full of various kinds of stylistic devices and that makes his story more vivid and picturesque.

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