Analysis and Comparison of the Beginnings of Uncle Ernest and Brighton Rock

Analysis and Comparison of the Beginnings of Uncle Ernest and Brighton Rock

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Analysis and Comparison of the Beginnings of Uncle Ernest and Brighton Rock

I have chosen to analyse and compare the beginnings of Uncle Ernest
and Brighton rock. I have chosen to write about these two stories
because they make a good contrast with each other as the author's
different techniques create a number of different effects.

Both authors write with the technique of using a lot of description.
Graham Greene, the author of Brighton Rock uses this technique to
describe both the character and the setting. One effect this has on
the story is that it helps to create an obvious contrast between the
two. This shows the reader that the main character, Hale, is misplaced
within his surroundings; he stands out and does not fit in with
everyone else or the place he is in. This is shown in sentences
describing his appearance, "inky fingers" and "his manner cynical".
This makes us think of a dirty man who is unclean and is not a very
nice person. In contrast to these descriptions, in the setting the air
is described as "fresh and glittering" and the sky is healthy. We get
the impression that Brighton is a nice place to be; clean and peaceful
and Hale doesn't fit in there. The author of Uncle Ernest also uses a
lot of description at the beginning of his story, but in a very
different way. Everything we find out about the place and person is
unpleasant. The effect of this is that the character blends in with
the background and no one really notices him. This is completely
opposite to Hale in Brighton and the way he stands out like a sore
thumb. The character's clothes are "dirty", a shave was badly needed,
and "he hadn't washed" either. The setting mirrors this as he walks
out of a public lavatory, a place generally seen as dirty and
unpleasant, the gutters are "unswept" and there is rubbish all over
the floor. This gives me the impression that Uncle Ernest isn't very
important where he lives as he fits in with everything else.

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The
description in this story also has the effect on the audience that we
are getting to know him more personally as we find out so much. Hale
though, on the other hand, is to the audience, a mysterious man
because we never find out what he looks like and he seems a bit
suspicious, like "inky fingers" suggests. It could mean that he is a
criminal because they have fingerprints taken or it could be something
to do with his job, for example he could work with newspapers, we
don't know. This leaves the reader wondering, whereas any questions
the reader has about Uncle Ernest's' appearance are answered in the
detailed descriptions of him.

Another technique used to help explain the stories is sentence
structures. The styles are quite similar in both the stories. Graham
Greene in Brighton Rock uses long sentences broken up with punctuation
such as commas and colons. This has the effect that the story and
action is going to move quite slowly. This effect is the same in Uncle
Ernest as it also has long sentences split up with commas.

A technique that differs greatly in the stories is the way the authors
keep the audience interested. I think that Greene does this well, as
he uses unanswered questions to make us want to read on and discover
the answers and he also uses careful vocabulary to build up the
readers expectations of excitement or danger; the word "murder" in the
first sentence has this effect. Uncle Ernest though, to me has little
excitement because we find out all of the important details about the
main character within the first paragraph. We know his appearance, his
name and even his job so no suspense or tension is built up in the
story. "Ernest Brown the upholsterer" basically says it all about him
already.

In conclusion, I mostly enjoyed the opening of Brighton Rock by Graham
Greene because I was kept interested throughout and I wanted to read
the rest of the story to find out what happens to Hale and if he
really gets murdered. I also want to get to know the character better
because I feel I know nothing about him. The author writes the story
well because the techniques he uses help to build the suspense. I did
not really enjoy Uncle Ernest and I wasn't inspired to read on because
there was little action and I already knew lots about the main
character.
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