Mushrooms and Late Colonels

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Mushrooms and Late Colonels

Post  cbehling on Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:47 pm

I believe that the use of the figurative language (or whatever you'd like to call it) is used to convey how viewpoints can be so entirely different depending upon who is looking. Its plain to see a cycle of the mushrooms: they live and die, only to be found again when something else dies for them to feed upon. However the beauty of them is often overlooked. Gustafsson uses this beautiful portrayal of the mushrooms to convey how the main character thinks. To give us a viewpoint into how his mind works.




From Katherine Mansfield's The Daughters of the Late Colonel

"The week after was one of the busiest weeks of their lives. Even when they went to bed it was only theirs bodies that lay down and rested; their minds went on, thinking things over, wondering, deciding, trying to remember where..."

The opening of the piece draws the reader in. Its mildly confusing, but interesting. What are they doing so much thinking about. Most importantly to me, however, is why is there an ellipse at the end of the paragraph? Where is it going? I thought it was an interesting way to make the reader want to keep reading. Honestly i don't truly know if it works or not. I'm a little more confused than anything else.


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Re: Mushrooms and Late Colonels

Post  MaryShelley on Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:54 pm

hmm, your first statement about the meaning of the mushrooms is hard to understand. I think you want to say something about how the character's point of view is represented by or expressed in the description of the mushrooms over the course of the story, but I'm not sure. you seem to struggle w what you want to say.

The opening of the Mansfield story is worthy of examination. You haven't said why it draws the reader in, precisely. Isn't it because it refers to an event that has already occurred and we instantly want to know what that is? Mansfield uses ellipses and elision throughout this story, so it makes sense for her to do so in the opening. Taken literally, this ellipses illustrates the continuation of the daughters' racing thoughts.

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Re: Mushrooms and Late Colonels

Post  cbehling on Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:06 pm

Ellipses stud the page in Katherine Mansfield’s The Daughters of the Late Colonel. Those three simple dots are used in many places to convey suspense and confusion all throughout the piece.
In the opening paragraph, Mansfield uses an ellipsis to entice the reader to read more of the story.
"The week after was one of the busiest weeks of their lives. Even when they went to bed it was only theirs bodies that lay down and rested; their minds went on, thinking things over, wondering, deciding, trying to remember where..." (363)
The reader is left asking, “where what?” Mansfield conveys that the things going through their mind continue, but the reader’s view of it is blocked. The reader is left in suspense, looking for the remainder of the thought.
The next encounter of an ellipsis occurs further down the same page. THis time, however, it is used for a slightly different type of suspense.
"And now the porter's head, disappearing, popped out, like a candle, under father's hat. . . . The giggle mounted, mounted; she clenched her hands; she fought it down; she frowned firecely at the dark and said "Remember" terribly sternly."

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Re: Mushrooms and Late Colonels

Post  MaryShelley on Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:08 am

Charlie, can you finish the thought? What is the slightly different type of suspense created by this second use of ellipses? Is "suspense" the right word?

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