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Analyse Doctor in the House

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Tansholpan
Words 1631
Pages 7
1. Richard Gordon is the pen name used by Gordon Ostlere (born Gordon Stanley Ostlere on 15 September 1921), an English surgeon and anaesthetist. As Richard Gordon, Ostlere has written numerous novels, screenplays for film and television and accounts of popular history, mostly dealing with the practice of medicine. He is best known for a long series of comic novels on a medical theme beginning with Doctor in the House, and the subsequent film, television, radio and stage adaptations. 2. The story is written in the form of narration with dialogue. 3. As it was said before the writer uses first person narrative, and out of methods of narration – description (e.g. the portrait of a girl, the process of exam), narration (e.g. how the main character is taking the exam) and dialogue (e.g. between that main character and Grimsdyke. The narrator since he is also the main character of the story is obviously intrusive. 4. The main idea conveyed by the author may be expressed as: the final examinations are reason for a great psychological pressure and a challenge for the students.
This extract is constructed around the single theme, which can be formulated as procedure of the exams. Besides the basic theme, the text touches upon many very important secondary themes: the psychological types of students, cheating at the exams, students’ prejudice, disadvantage of women student at the exams, the psychological pressure of the process of the examination on the students etc. 5. The exposition contains the general information about students’ attitude to the final examinations and the way of preparation for this important event. The exposition begins with “To a medical student the final examinations are something like death: an unpleasant inevitability to be faced sooner or later…” and ends with “… and ran a final breathless sprint down the well-trodden paths of medicine.” The climax embraces the final paragraphs for exception of the very last one. The denouement of the text is the untying of the knot of this story a kind of liberation and the ending of suffering. “Blindly, like a man just hit by a blackjack, I stumbled upstairs.” 6. Style of the language of the story.
The most frequent are similes and the most important are following: “To a medical student the final examinations are something like death”, (“he goes at them like a prize-fighter”, “feeling as if I had just finished an eight-round fight”, “struggling like a cow in a bog”), that shows the attitude of the protagonist to the examinations and describes the atmosphere and student’s feelings. The author sews the string of death through the whole linen of the story to show all seriousness of this period for the student and associates it with inevitability and ending of their easygoing lives. The other simile shows that students position themselves as the prisoners sentenced to death feeling helpless and despondency: “I was shown to a tiny waiting-room furnished with hard chairs, a wooden table, and windows that wouldn't open, like the condemned cell.” The narrator gives us an opportunity to look at the process of exams through the eyes of student and many times underlines their mental suffering which becomes nearly physical after the oral examination: “The days after the viva were black ones. It was like having a severe accident.” The next simile illustrates “…a breathless expectation of the results” emphasizes the extremely depressed condition of the main character during long waiting . “The room had suddenly come to a frightening, unexpected silence and stillness, like an unexploded bomb.”
The author also uses the allusion referring to the Bible’s Judgment day: “But the viva is judgement day.” We discover that final exams are death and the Secretary as an archangel corresponds where they would go to the paradise or to hell. “The candidate would step up closely to the Secretary, who would say simply "Pass" or "Failed". Successful men would go upstairs to receive the congratulations and handshakes of the examiners and failures would slink miserably out of the exit to seek the opiate oblivion”. Greek mythology “the god's brow threatens like imminent thunderstorm” that show a strong emotional effect of inevitability of something horrible.
Some hyperboles create a great chasm between students and examiners: “But the viva is judgement day. A false answer, and the god's brow threatens like imminent thunderstorm.”, “If the candidate loses his nerve in front of this terrible displeasure he is finished”. In the last paragraph the author uses hyperbole (“the world stood still”, “the traffic stopped, the plant ceased growning”) to show the condition of the inner world of the main character. A hyperbole “…an examination is nothing more than an investigation of man’s knowledge” what a examination is.
The stylistic device of metaphor is used to produce a humorous effect “an investigation of a man's knowledge”, “the well-trodden paths of medicine”, “confusion breeds confusion”, “…frustrated brilliance” about a gone hope of a student, “a final breathless sprint”, and metonymy “…..interrogation” this word is used as conversation between examiners and a student.
The following short parallels constructions help to reflect the tense during anticipation of the narrator’s result: “The world stood still. The traffic stopped, the plants ceased growing, men were paralyzed, the clouds hung in the air, the winds dropped, and the tides disappeared, the sun halted in the sky.”
For achieving humorous effect, Gordon uses antonomasia when he describes candidates that were waiting to go in with him and he characterizes some types of students: “There was the Nonchalant, lolling back on the rear legs of his chair with his feet on the table. Next to him, a man of the Franky Worried class sat on the edge of his char tearing little bits off his invitation card and jumping irritatingly every time the door opened. There was a Crammer, fondling the pages of his battered textbook in a desperate farewell embrace, and his opposite, the Old Stager…”
Epithets “familiarity of photographer”, “poor victims”. In addition, we can point out climax (in the same paragraph) and irony (women students – the attractive ones).
Some words are dedicated to the checking the students works, and we can surely say that they are written in sarcastic key, just remember the words that “The night before the results come out the old don totters bade, from hall and chucks the lot down the staircase. The ones that stick on the top flight are given firsts most of them end up on the landing and get seconds, thirds go to the lower flight, and any reaching the ground floor are failed.” And according to the author, this system has been working admirably for years without arousing any comment.
Such stylistic device as irony is also present in this extract, for example: “to give the examiners the impression of frustrated brilliance”, “Examinations touch off his fighting spirit; they are a straight contest between himself and the examiners”, “This system has been working admirably for years”.
The use of inversion in the sentence “To a medical student the final examinations are something like death” highlights the difficulty of the examination for the students.
The semantic words of the passage – “examination”, “students” “preparation”, “answer”, “written papers”, “textbooks” together with the key words “medical student” and “final exam” claim the topic of the extract and also conveys the author message that the exam is not the end of the world if the student gets ready for it beforehand.
The bulk of vocabulary is mostly neutral but sometimes bookish (“thenceforward”, “flagrant”, “nonchalant”, “well-established”). Also author uses student’s slang that produces the effect of authenticity of the real student’s life (“cheating”, “viva”, “old don”, “crammer”, “old-stager”, “tripos”). 7. Genres is prose. 8. The plot of the text is developed on the basis of inner conflict. Students which take the exam are very nervous and excited about that. And all these actions for them as like as boxer`s ring. It takes a lot of energy and powers and they feel like prize-fighters.
The plot of story centers round one event – the examination in the medical college and can be divided into four parts: in the 1st the students’ attitude toward the exam is revealed, in the 2nd the written round of exam the oral part are described, in the 3rd ,the final part of the story – the days after the exam and before the results. 9. The main character of the story is a typical student, not genius, not a poor achiever, just a good student who worries about his grade. He is collecting information of the process of sitting for examination throughout the whole text. He is a feat, simple, static character, because his personality hasn’t changed in the final of this exact extract. The minor character, Grimsdyke, is better be called episodic and there is nothing to say about him for exception that he doesn’t have the same degree of worry. He is also a simple, static character. 10. The presentation of the character is indirect – only through their ideas mostly expressed through the speech 11. The key mood of the text is humorous. The story is written in neutral language, good-humored, and playfully ironic. The length of the sentences fit the reader’s intention to enjoy the process of reading and not to strain the memory. 12. I found that text interesting because it`s easy to understand and touches upon the problems of education in the university. And we can apply these problems not only to medical students, but the others too, because the tension and excitement are the main things at exams. And each student wants to know his results. The humorous key of presentation makes the reader be interested in it and read to the end of the story without boring.

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