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The Last Night

  • Date Submitted: 01/14/2012 09:05 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 45.8 
  • Words: 1089
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In the extract the Last Night the writer Sebastian Faulks makes the reader feel sympathy for the victims in the story because of his descriptions of the brutality of the victim’s situation, through the constant reiteration of ideas that foreshadow death throughout the extract, the way the children are characterized to be too naïve to be in such a terrible situation, and through Faulks’s inclusions of mundane details which are contrasting to the potentially dramatic context of the text. These aspects of Faulks’s writing evoke sympathy from the reader.
Faulks’s inclusions of mundane descriptions evoke sympathy from the reader, as these details are juxtaposed against the potentially dramatic context of the writing. Faulks’s uses very routine activities such as “each child was given a sandwich.” The mundane description of the action masks the horrible reality of the children’s future; thus, this contrast evokes a sense of poignancy and so draws out sympathy from the reader, as we know that an imminent death awaiting them.
Sympathy is also evoked through the way in which the victims are portrayed while writing their letter. As the deportees write with “punctilious care”, Faulks depicts the nature of the deportees’ writing as very cautious. He describes that “the way in which they were remembered, depended upon their choice of word.”   Writing a postcard should be very liberating for someone, and one shouldn’t have to worry about their punctuation and instead just be able to put their thoughts on paper. As these ideas are moving because they are so emotional in their final message, contained in a tiny postcard is juxtaposed against the content of the post card which is their entire life and therefore it is moving.
Faulks portrays the children to be in a very dire situation, this idea is evident through the entire the extract but this idea is most prominent in his descriptions when Andre and Jacob are sleeping in the dung. Andre lays his cheek “uncaring in the dung”...


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