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Martin Eden. Text Interpretation

  • Date Submitted: 10/25/2015 02:36 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.8 
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In the extract from the book «Martin Eden» we can single out the main theme, which is, in my opinion, the problem of stratified society.
Logically this extract can be divided into four parts.
The first one opens with the first sentence of the extract «as they crossed Broadway» and closes with the last sentence of the paragraph ending in «all working-class girls were wearing just then». The first part is represented by first person narration and deals with the retelling of the actions performed by three figures: Martin Eden, Ruth and Martin’s former girl-friend Lizzie Connolly. Martin Eden is facing a rather complicated problem. He was born into a poor family and obviously belongs to the working class. But in his heart and mind he should belong to another class, the elect. In this paragraph we view Martin’s ambiguity. He is accompanied by Ruth, whom he admires immensely, and he experiences the sense of belonging to the same social stratum as she does. But he is confronted by the encounter with Lizzie Connolly, a girl from his by-gone life. We perceive the difference between the two worlds from the lens of two women: Lizzie and Ruth. Lizzie is a true representative of her class. The author uses epithets to describe her eyes and the way she looks at Martin, for example «she   looked at him boldly   with eyes that were handsome and hard». Her clothes are described as cheap finery and her hat as strange. Ruth is perceived as a completely different creature. Such epithets as «soft» and «gentle» are used to describe her eyes, simile is used to create a vivid comparison «quick eyes that were timid and mild as a dove’s». These stylistic devices are not only used to draw a picture of two characters but they explain some deep characteristics of the two persons. Lizzie, being poor and having scarce opportunities in life, must look boldly, hard, because in order to survive in complicated conditions she has to show perseverance with every feature of her face. She also wears the...

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