THE DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE,
by Richard Gordon
Richard Gordon is the pen name used by Gordon Ostlere (born on September 15, 1921), an English surgeon and anaesthetist. As Richard Gordon, Ostlere has written several novels, screenplays for film and television and accounts of popular history, mostly dealing with the practice of medicine. He is most famous for a long series of comic novels on a medical theme starting with Doctor in the House, and the subsequent film, television and stage adaptations.
The final examination is like the most significant event in every student’s life. All the candidates were ticking the days off the calendar, swotting up the spot questions. Some of them, in ...view middle of the document...
As about the characters of the story, the narrator describes the different types of students, according to their worries, attitude and feelings towards the examination process. There are the Nonchalant, the Frankly Worried, the Crammer and the Old Stager. The narrator, I think borders on both, the Frankly Worried type of student and the Nonchalant type. He is not very confident about his knowledge, he was stumbling through the answer, he was overwhelmed with stress, and he wants to reach his goal – to become a doctor. But nevertheless, we do not see him “tearing little bits off his invitation card and jumping irritatingly every time the door opened”. As about his friend, Grimsdyke, he is the Nonchalant type of students, he is an optimistic fellow, that thinks that examinations are only a matter of luck.
The author uses a lot of special terms, such as tripos, invigilator, tetanus; colloquial words, students' slang: viva, firsts, seconds, porter, swot.
The author employs a lot of expressive means and stylistic devices to make the story vivid and bright:
• stumbled through the answer, when Richard begins to answer the second question of the examiner;
• the viva is judgment day, the author refers to this biblical fact in the description of oral examination, which creates the effect of additional fear in the emotional state of the students and increases the importance of this event;
• interrogation, the author uses this term to express the disgust of students to the viva;
• frustrated brilliance, so the author calls a gone hope of students not properly prepared for the written examination;
• black days, the writer tries to...