The Life And Crimes Of Harry Lavender Analysis

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A composer’s construction of distinctive voices in a text plays a crucial role in portraying how life experiences shape an individual’s identity, world view and response to their environment and others. It is through the careful selection of language techniques that composers represent how individuals respond to life experiences, thereby positioning the responder to think about the significant issues of the world, as it can shape the individual’s perception, persona and interpretation. Both Merele Day’s 1990’s detective fiction nobel ‘The life and Crimes of Harry Lavender’ and the 1980’s poem ‘Stealing’ by Carol Ann Duffy confronts us with various characters related with crime giving us an intuition into the motivation and perspectives of unique individuals. Day presents both Claudia Valentine, a subverted representation of the hardboiled detective and also Harry Lavender a typical criminal mastermind. Likewise Duffy presents an ambiguous individual who glamourises criminal acts against society. Eventually expressions within the two texts ensure that readers understand the actions taken by each protagonist.

Distinctive voices may be created by the composer’s deliberate subversion of the reader’s expectations. Within the text ‘The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender’, Day’s process in the subverting of the stereotypical hardboiled detective genre through her portrayal of her female protagonist, Claudia Valentine challenges the reader’s perceptions of modern world women in a late 20th century context. Claudia’s masculinised voice shows her choice to prevent her femininity, the use of masculine expressions and crude imagery comparing her finding to a “sh*t sandwich on three-day old bread” and describing Sally Villos as a “cold hard b...

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...ing my gut” indicating the mixed up link between the persona and the snowman. This indicates the snowman is symbolising not only the cold in the speakers life but his loneliness, but when he smashes up the snowman, “booted him. Again. Again” the use of truncated sentences and repetition emphasises this action. Here the persona is taking on the role of extortionists, attempting to destroy part of them self. The self destructive behaviour shows the insecure and self loathing persona. The allocation of a profound persona to an individual allows the reader to empathise with the hardships experienced.

Therefore , Day’s ‘The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender’ and Duffy’s poem ‘Stealing’ indicate how the creation of distinctive voices in texts are crucial. Both texts exhibit how composers are able to shape and affect the individual through significant life experiences.

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