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Commentary on extract from The Getting of Wisdom

            COMMENTARY ON EXTRACT FROM “The Getting of Wisdom” by Kate Grenville.
             This extract is about a man called Douglas Cheeseman, a man who is very dissatisfied with himself and his life. The scene takes place in NSW, Karakarook, in a hotel called the Caledonian.
             The extract is written in third person, and the narrator tells Douglas’s story. The narrator tells the story in past tense, and tells it in limited omniscience where the descriptions of surroundings, and the way Douglas feels, is only told from Douglas’s point of view, not any other characters. .
             The main theme of this extract is that of someone finding himself, someone who is really dissatisfied with himself and his life. Throughout the whole passage we just keep getting re-enforcements of how Douglas is so unhappy with his life, how nothing goes right, and how he’s hiding from life.
             The tone in this passage continuously changes. It starts off with mockery. He mocks his ex-wife and her magazine using the word amusing repeatedly. The tone then changes into a dry, slow tone, a life-less tone. The narrator describes what Douglas sees with verbs that drag us down like lifeless, empty, pale sky, dark, straggling, dusty, slowly, gutter and awning. These words such as stillness, and nothing give the tone silence, and slowness and emptiness. The tone then changes into this full of life, thrusting tone and the woman standing outside is being described. Words such as pushed out, and bulges, and exposed create a huge change in energy in the tone. The tone falls back when the description of the woman ends and we return to Douglas. The tone withdraws, and becomes weak and brings us down with it with words like fall and smaller, and crooked, self-conscious, awkward, and repeated times the word tried appears. The tone keeps getting quieter and more depressing with words like heat, dust, slow, dim, and sagged.