Jane Stone The Man

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  • Přidal/a: anonymous
  • Datum přidání: 23. února 2007
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Jane Stone The Man

The man whose name was only He

The man was lonely and not interesting for ordinary people although he was a person of much better behaviour than others.

I will try to describe the main characters, analyze their actions and behaviour and find and explain hidden ideas and messages for the reader. I will try to find some parts of the story, with which I do not agree or agree, and I will try to explain why. IV. OBSAH
The story is about a man who is mysterious and strange for a group of small children which want to find some information about him. He came to live into the house where the small children were usually playing. During several days they are exploring his house and watching him, trying to find what his daily routine looks like. He lives alone and there is no furniture in the rooms of his house but they are all clean and tidy. During the last day of their exploration they find a room which is not like the others. This room is lined with deep, broad shelves on which there are rows of standing dolls. Suddenly the children are interrupted by the man who is surprisingly kind and they are told the man’s story. He is telling them a story of losing his wife during the birth of his daughter who could not walk or talk. He made her dolls and when she died he went on making them. After the story was told the children left and never went into the house again. The man died some time later – alone. V. SETTINGS: a village in the West Riding (p. 125 – ‘…Andy’s brother had been the best clickie in the West Riding…’),
probably the beginning of the 20th century (p. 127 – ‘None of us had heard of spaghetti before.’)

- loner – he lived alone in the house, no friends
- friendly – he did not hurt children
- hospitable – he gave them food
- perceptive – he understood why the children came
- sentimental – he was sorrow about the loss of his family
the children
- curious – analyzing man’s daily routine and way of living
- decent – they apologized to the man
- playful – they were playing in the garden
- continual – they were looking for information about the man for several days
POINT OF VIEW; NARRATOR: first person point of view – innocent eye



This story can be simple or complex, boring or amusing – it depends who reads it, if he is able to identify with it, to find and understand the hidden meaning of words and to find ideas or moral and practical instructions significant for the reader which appear here beyond any doubt. As from the title as from the first sentences it is clear who will be in the reader’s centre of attention – the main character of the story. It is a man – a bit mysterious, maybe strange but almost insignificant for all people living in the village. Of course, except a group of small children. I think the reason why the author used children to discover the mystery of the man is simple. There are advantages in the way that children see things differently from adults and for the author it is not necessary to look for the serious reasons advocating their actions and behaviour. Children are spontaneous and that is why the author cannot get lost in the circumstances leading to children’s contact with the man.
The reason for the contact is simple: children lose their playground when the house was inhabited by the man and it is predictable that they will be surely interested in who lives in there.

This classical children’s curiosity makes them organize a sort of expedition to find as many pieces of information about the strange man as possible. To make the atmosphere strained, the author makes use of typical elements of the mystery stories, the result is effective and descriptive elements make me feel the situation in which the children find themselves. ‘It was late now… It was dark, and silent…’ (Stone, p. 125).
Next sentences can give the reader small signs of what kind of person the man is. The entrance door of his house is not locked so it probably means that he is not expecting any visitors and that he maybe has no friends – he lives a solitary life.
Loners usually lose their interest in any action and because of this it is interesting when the reader realizes that every room entered by children (though without furniture)
is absolutely clean.
During this night the author does not allow the reader to get more information because one of the children ruins the expedition by chance; and this leaves the reader in the strain.
The other day children split up in twos and they are trying to find what the daily routine of the man looks like. But his behaviour is not strange, he is walking in the garden picking up apples and the reader has that kind of feeling that he is just a ‘normal’ person and not a mysterious one. There is a sentence which perfectly describes how ordinary he is: ‘He had come out on to the terrace afterwards, with a pipe and a glass of beer, and sat, legs stretched out in front of him…’(Stone, p. 127).

This part of the story is calm and I could compare it to a soft autumn wind when a human is dreaming and he is thankful for his existence. But suddenly the wind is getting stronger blowing his dreams away and the reader gets back to reality exactly when the children imagine that the man is a murderer of rich women.
The reader does not suppose that it is true but his desire for the truth gets stronger and the wind changes to a hurricane.
When the children pass the rooms they know they enter the room which was the mysterious one from the beginning because it was the only room with curtains. Both children and reader know that discovering of it will make a break through in the whole story and tell the truth about the man.

That what is discovered by children are rows of different dolls and it can be surprising and unexpecting enough for the reader because he could expect anything but this.
I think that these dolls are the same strong element of mystery as the man himself and so the story could be titled as ‘The Dolls’ as well as ‘The Man’.
Why dolls, different and maybe from every country in the world? Is the man a traveller or collector or the dolls are the symbol of something more important? Here comes the mysterious man to explain us everything but another confusing thing appears and the reader is not sure what to expect from the man.
First it was a mysterious figure of the man himself, than the rows of dolls, which seem without any connection with him and now the man described in these ways:
- when he finds the children with his dolls. ‘He stood there, and his face was set in hate.’(Stone, p. 129)
- a few lines further when the children realise that they made a mistake and want to apologise to a man. ‘… he was smiling! He was smiling all over,… (Stone, p. 130).
Is it just another wind, which will be replaced by a hurricane? No. The man is saying his story: ‘I was married. I was happy. My wife was never strong, and three weeks before she had our baby she was ill. She died when our daughter was born.’(Stone, p. 131)
And what about those dolls? He made them for his daughter and when she died he went on making them. By doing this he kept his commemoration of his daughter and also wife because she was such like the daughter. It is emotional and maybe some readers’ eyes will be wet but the loss of the daughter and wife does not seem to me very original as the reason for making dolls. Maybe the author could think about any other reason and maybe I am just a pretentious reader who is looking for something new in literary works.
When the children left they never came back.

It is surprising when the reader as well as children know that the man is friendly, nice and considerate. The author advocates the children saying that they always had something else to do. The question is: What else? During this story they were doing nothing except searching for the unknown. It is not mentioned that they worked and helped their parents or visited school. In this case the explanation of the author is not abundant. Before the end of the story the reader can

expect that it will end tragically. Also group of words ‘The last time’ repeated at the beginning of the story could indicate it. The man dies - alone. From the last paragraph it can be felt that the child character is confused and keeps the secret about the man which he would like to share with his parents but she is affraid that she will not be understood. The mood of the character as well as mine is described in two last sentences of the story: ’So I picked up my coat and ran out into the autumn rain. And who knew that it wasn’t the rain that damped my cheeks.’ (Stone, s.133)


– periphrasis ‘The adults, those proud possesors of wordly knowledge’ (p. 124)
- metaphor ‘The thin spirals of mist which wrapped around the trees’ (p. 124)
– metaphor ‘My heart jerking the strings of my cotton pinafore’ (p. 125)
– simile ‘As eager as a young bloodhound’ (p. 125)
– simile ‘Object waved about like a witch’s wand’ (p. 128)
- personification ‘Regarding us unblinkingly, almost insolently, rows and rows of dolls’
(p. 128)
– simile ‘His eyes were deep blue and cold and clear, like blue sky over snow’ (p. 129)
- metaphor ‘The blossom lent its fragile whiteness to the apple orchard’ (p. 132).

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