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The Way Conrad and Wharton Shape Our Response to Their

  • Date Submitted: 02/19/2011 06:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63 
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The way Conrad and Wharton shape our response to their novellas.
A fundamental difference between the two novellas is the different worlds in which their story is set. Wharton uses the appropriate name of, ‘Starkfield’ where Ethan’s barren farm is situated. This already disheartening name of the town builds up the atmosphere of the bleak life which Ethan lives. This is heightened in comparison to Freya who lives in prosperity and relaxes in exquisite tropical islands with picturesque waters. Jasper and Freya have a chance to escape with the ‘Bonito’ but Ethan and Mattie have nothing. Conrad sets his world in, “a particularly calm and cloudless spot as a rule.” He portrays the idyllic place in which Jasper and Freya live giving a sense of freedom. Conrad uses this imagery to give a sense of magic and then destroys it to make the place seem spiritless with the two lovers split and lost from each other’s company.
Jasper and Ethan are the two main male roles in the novellas; however they both are very different characters. This is partly because of the different way they live their lives and the worlds they live in. Ethan is a lot more hesitant and less self-assured than Jasper. Ethan finds it hard to tell Mattie his love for her until very near the end of the book. However Ethan does battle with his own wife Zeena to keep Mattie with him which is courageous and shows how devoted he is to her which is admirable. He knows what he wants to say but finds it very hard. Ethan is also a very poor person and has no escape from his poverty described as, “there was no way out-none.” Conrad gives this fact a realisation throughout the book. Ethan is described as a, “prisoner for life,” as he can’t get away from his position and does not have the money, even suicide seems a better option for Ethan and Mattie. This is compared to Jasper who is a captain of a brig who has hope of achievement and reaches and has the freedom of the ocean with him. However Jasper has his head in the...

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