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Analysis of Text № 1

The text “A Friend in Need” is written by a famous English writer William Sommerset Maugham who achieved a great success as a novelist with such novels as “Of Human Bondage”,“The Razor’s Edge”.He was also well-known as dramatist due to such witty satirical places as“Our Betters”, “The Circle”.

Maugham was greatly influenced by French naturalism at the beginning of his career but later his outlook on life changed. It became rather cool and unemotional. He said that life was too tragic and senseless to be described but in spite of it he realized that he had to amuse his readers.

The writer achieved perfection in this way and his stories and novels struck readers by the author’s skill to depict such negative facts of life as vanity, hypocrisy, superiority and brutality of the bourgeois society. Such elements are reflected in Maugham’s novel “A Friend in Need”where Burton, a prosperous and successive businessman sent a man to death without the slightest hesitation. He did it only because his presence bored him.

So, such doings reveal real nature of bourgeois society and show us a great abyss between rich and poor people.

The titleof the story doesn’t arouse any difficulties in understanding. We can see that one of the characters has very serious problems and can’t solve them on account of big crisis in his life. That’s why he needed great help.

The text belongs to a belles-lettres style and to social and psychological genres because on one hand it studies the effect of social conditions at a given time and place and describes human’s life and behaviour and on the other hand it concerns with the mental and emotional life of the characters and opens their real nature.

The text “A Friend in Need” is a narrationbecause it is a real dynamic account of events. It also containsa descriptionof the man’s appearance (e.g.he was handsome in a way, with curly hair and pink-and-white cheeks, he was well-dressed and smart-looking) and his way of living (e.g.he’d pawned everything he had, he couldn’t pay his hotel bill, he’d been playing poker, he was down and out). The text hasinterior monologueand it renders the thoughts and feelings of the characters.

The author speaks about events in his own voice. The story is told in the first person. It is emotional because it represents all events in succession and brightness. The action is not very fast and slow, it is consequent. The novel ends on negative note and we can see some elements of relations between simple people and bourgeois society. The end of the novel isn’t conclusive; it is left for further suggestion. We can think about Burton’s further carrier and fate.

The main theme of the story isgreat abyss between poor andrich people. It is possible to see a conflict with society in the text. The author sympathizes with the main character and it is difficult for him to understand how one can sent a man for death without the slightest hesitation.

The text under analysis consists of several parts.

From the expositionwe can see that the events of the story are centred around two main characters: Old Burton and his namesake Young Burton. The action takes place in London. Old Burton tells his friend (who is supposed to be the writer Maugham himself) about one episode from his life.Complication describes Old Burton’s idea about swimming. He wanted his namesake Young Burton to swim and to reach the creek of Tarumi because he was a pretty good swimmer at the university.Climax reveals us the real state of affairs and helps us to understand that the Young Burton had drowned.Denouement shows us the real nature of the Old Burton and directs us to reflections about his future life and carrier.

The main idea of the novel is thata friend in need is a friendindeed.

Depending upon the manner in which the narration is represented we can speak about the language of the story. There are many colloquial words e.g. (chap, funk, a kindly chuckle, to go rather pale)which create a vivid and emotive picture of the events. In general the language of the story is not complicated from grammar point of view. It includes short sentences and different casual constructions. The predominant tense is Past Simple one.

So the text is not very complicated. It is laconic, ironic and witty.