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Structure of My Life and Hard Times Chapters 5-9 BY: Kia Aliakbar Kenji Bennett Kajan Moorthy Rohan Konnur.

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Presentation on theme: "Structure of My Life and Hard Times Chapters 5-9 BY: Kia Aliakbar Kenji Bennett Kajan Moorthy Rohan Konnur."— Presentation transcript:

1 Structure of My Life and Hard Times Chapters 5-9 BY: Kia Aliakbar Kenji Bennett Kajan Moorthy Rohan Konnur

2 THESIS In the second half of his autobiographical novel My Life and Hard Times, James Thurber uses structure to emphasize the comedic factor of chaos that played a defining role in his life.

3 Chapter 5 The constant interjections produce more chaos in the writing yet inversely these interjections make the events more understandable ● “‘Look out for Jamie!’” said father. (He always called me Jamie when excited.)”- Thurber pg.45

4 Chapter 5 (cont.) These interjections can be examples of setting, conflict, or characterization ● “In the early years of the nineteenth century, Columbus won out, as state capital, by only one vote over Lancaster, and ever since then has had the hallucination that it is being followed, a curious municipal state of mind which affects, in some way or other, all those who live there.”- Thurber pg. 40 o an example of personification

5 Chapter 5 (cont.) ● uses the phrase “over and over” on pages 40, 41, and 43 o an example of alliteration o refers to the two instances that occur ● Chronological order ● Paragraphs range from a few lines to page-long length o more inconsistency that creates chaos

6 Chapter 6-A Sequence of Servants ● “Sequence of Servants” o key word here is Sequence which indicates that the structure is a series of consecutive events ● Thurber only mentions the white maids first and then the black maids. o “Before I go on to Vashti, whose last name I forget, I will look in passing at another of our white maids (Vashti was a Negress).” pg 49

7 Chapter 6 (cont.) ● Thurber also makes many interjections and flashbacks o “I was reminded of her recently when, at a performance of the movie “Rasputin and the Empress,” there came the scene in which Lionel Barrymore as the unholy priest hypnotized the Czarevitch by spinning before her eyes a watch.” pg 47.

8 Chapter 6 (cont.) ● The structure is very important to the theme of chaos. o The flashbacks and interjections make the prose itself very convoluted which then make the chaos of each servant seem amplified.

9 Chapter 6 (cont). ● Hyperbole o “Mrs. Doody, a huge, middle-aged woman with a religious taint, came into and went out of our house like a comet.” pg 50 ● Understatement o “When the cops arrived Dora was shooting out the Welsbach gas mantles in the living room, and her gentleman friend had fled” pg 46-47

10 CHAPTER 7 - The Dog That Bit People Rhetorical Devices - Diction - Personification - Simile Structure - flashback, chronological, long paragraphs

11 Chapter 7-Diction “One time my mother went to the Chittenden Hotel…” pg. 58 “One morning when Muggs bit me slightly,” pg. 58 “A few months before Muggs died,” pg. 60

12 Chapter 7-Personification “He was never in a very good humor, even after a meal.” p. 56 “He didn’t like to stay in the house for some reason or other - perhaps it held too many unpleasant memories for him.” p. 62

13 Chapter 7-Simile “Muggs came wandering into the room like Hamlet following his father's ghost.” p.62

14 Chapter 8 - University Days ● onomatopoeia o “‘Choo-choo-choo,’ he said” (67) ● simile o “He cut off abruptly for he was beginning to quiver all over, like Lionel Barrymore” (65) ● anaphora o “I didn’t like the swimming pool, I didn’t like swimming, and I didn’t like the swimming instructor.” (66)

15 Chapter 8 (cont) ● metaphor o “You were supposed to see a vivid, restless clockwork of sharply defined plant cells.” (65) ● alliteration o “his huge hands” (68) ● hyperbole o “So we tried it with every adjustment of the microscope known to man” (65)

16 Chapter 8 (cont) ● contains 5 small flashbacks of his life at Ohio State University within the chapter ● uses segues o “It wasn’t that agricultural student but it was another a whole lot like him who decided to take up… newspaper work” (70) ● generally chronological order

17 CHAPTER 9 ● Makes digressions about grandfather o Grandfather’s attempt at learning to drive the electric o “One reason we didn’t let grandfather roam around at night was that he had said something about going over to Lancaster, his old home town, and putting his problem up to ‘Gump’- that is General William Tecumseh Sherman, also a Lancaster boy.” pg 76

18 Chapter 9 (cont). ● Chronological o Progression-Anecdotal Comedy ●Diction ○“he thought it was a lot of tomfoolery” (pg 75) ○“and go through the same rigmarole” (pg 80) ●Alliteration ○“...snapped sharply” pg 80 ○“... Blythe Ballomy” pg 81

19 Chapter 9 (cont) ● Anaphora o “Until the summons ceased, I couldn’t leave town and as long as I stayed and appeared promptly for examination, even though I did the examining, I felt that technically I could not be convicted of evasion.” ● Onomatopoeia o “mi, mi, mi, mi,” (pg 81) o “ah” (pg 81)

20 Importance of Narrator First person POV allows for stories to seem more personal. Creates a more conversational feeling and allows the reader to feel closer. ex. “ If you have ever lain awake at night and repeated one word over and over, thousands and millions and hundreds of thousands of millions of times, you know the disturbing mental state you can get into.” p. 43

21 Works Cited Thurber, James. My Life and Hard times. New York: Harper & Bros., Print.


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