Stylistic analysis of a short story by Saki
The story under analysis is titled "Laura". It is written by British author, master of the short story Hector Hugh Munro, better known by the pen name Saki.
The very story belongs to fiction genre with a unique touch of mystery, psychological themes, as it concerned with two main heroines' (Laura and Amanda) emotional states.
The tone of the story is full of irony and even sarcasm, especially in the dialogues and closing lines. The mysterious ideas and incredible circumstances provide the suspense and makes the text rather gripping and thought-provoking.
The story is told from the third person, who involves ...view middle of the document...
The atmosphere of the text is quite changeable, so in the end of the story the secondary setting of the Nile Valley is depicted.
From the very beginning of the story the reader finds some foreshadowing. It gives special hints to what will happen in the future. The plot includes some complications which lead right up to the climax of the text. After Laura's death Amanda believes her friend to be reincarnated as an otter. Eventually, she learns that the animal has been killed. The fact, that a witness noticed "such a human look in its eyes" brings Amanda an attack of nervous prostration.
At the very end of the story the reader finds another climax and new unsolved conflict: a Nubian boy had thrown all Egbert's clean shirts into the bath. All this presents an external conflict; an internal conflict is revealed through struggling doubts about what happens after death. Obviously, the text has an open ending.
This short story is extremely interesting from the stylistic point of view. The writer had a very specific way of applying stylistic devices in the text. Comic nature of the situation is expressed by a lot of formal lexis and play upon polysemous words and idioms ("dying by inches"). The use of certain stylistic means is closely related to the portrayal of heroine's personalities and conditions. The author is often ironic showing Laura's...