Mushrooms/Mansfield

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Mushrooms/Mansfield

Post  Sarah Seko on Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:53 pm

The use of figurative language to convey the simplicity and unity of the natural world.

"What would father say when he found out? For he was bound to find out sooner or later. He always did. "Buried. You two girls had me buried!" She heard his stick thumping. Oh, what would they say? What possible excuse could they make? It sounded like such an appallingly heartless thing to do. Such a wicked advantage to take of a person because he happened to be helpless at the moment." (p. 367)

I found this passage to be absolutely hilarious (although I did feel a little guilty for laughing at a funeral scene). The way in which Mansfield intertwined humor into such a somber event was very interesting. Who would ever think that someone would be angry because his daughters held a funeral for him? While initially very funny, the sincerity of the worry in Josephine's voice brought me back the tragic aspect of the scene.

Sarah Seko

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Re: Mushrooms/Mansfield

Post  MaryShelley on Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:47 pm

yes, good, I also found this moment incredibly funny. It possesses excellent rhythm, do you notice? I think humor, in general, relies on pacing. what is tragic for me is not the subject of the discussion, but the fact that the daughters (grown women) act like children, are so like overgrown children it's practically disturbing. and yet, it's also hilarious, but troublingly so. For me, this compound quality at the heart of the story is what makes it so engaging. I'm delighted you chose this passage. It's truly one of my favorites as well.

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Re: Mushrooms/Mansfield

Post  Sarah Seko on Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:02 pm

The repetition of self-condemning questions conveys Josphine's sincere concern over her father's response to his funeral. These questions also create a rhythmic pattern as Joesphine flutters from thought to thought. The use of the words "appallingly heartless" and "wicked" to describe holding a funeral is both humorous and disturbing when spoken by a grown woman. By describing the father as "helpless at the moment," Mansfield elaborates on Josephine's childlike view of death. She does not comprehend the seriousness or permanence of death. Rather, like a child, Josphine's focus remains on what she expects to be the consequences of her actions. The passage truly conveys the grown woman's immature perception of the world.

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Re: Mushrooms/Mansfield

Post  MaryShelley on Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:31 am

excellent work, Sarah! You seem to be very much on target with your close reading. I also think the thumping of the cane has an interesting effect in this passage. Again, connected to the rhythm, a demanding rhythm, relating to what is said. Will you look at Mansfield for your second annotation, I wonder?

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