The Werewolf - SFL and Interpretations

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Structure, Form and Language:
Pathetic Fallacy ­ "they have cold weather." "Cold; tempest;"
Typical gothic convention. The cold weather reflects "cold hearts" and foreshadows the
insensitivity of the little girl to her grandmother's death.
Repetition ­ "they" is repeated several times in the third paragraph, showing a clear separation
between the narrator and the village people (almost with negative connotations.)
Use of Semi-Colons ­ "Cold; tempest; wild beasts in the forest."
The use of semi-colons to break up the speed of speech makes the words sound more ominous.
Short sentences ­ "A bed, a stool, a table. Harsh, brief, poor lives."
These sentences reflect the simplicity of the peasants' lives. They are short and without much
interesting content.
Singular, isolated words ­ "Harsh, brief, poor lives."
These isolated words, used in a list of three, again describe the peasants' lives. It is almost as if
they cannot dare to hope for more or expect more than what they already have. They are isolated
from any hopes of prosperity.
Commas ­ "A bed, a stool, a table."
The commas break up the words, in order to make them stand alone and shock to a deeper level by
pausing before each one. The commas have a big impact in this sentence because they separate
three very meagre and basic pieces of furniture which are the only types of furniture the peasants
seem to own.
Metaphor ­ "the path and the footsteps, track or spoor that might have been upon it were
The path could be representative of the standard way of life a woman would walk. The path in this
story has been obscured, meaning that the heroine has to make her own way in life, rather than
walking a prescribed route set out for her by her mother. This ties in nicely with the interpretation
of feminine rivalry.
Possible Interpretations:

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Critique of Old Traditions and Superstitions:
This is a credible interpretation because the tone of the narrator is sarcastic and cynical (e.g.
"whose black cat, oh, sinister!"). This is further supported by the idea of the young girl
breaking away from tradition and straying from the path she has been told to walk.
Female Rivalry:
This interpretation fits very well into the story. Once the grandmother is killed, the
granddaughter "prospered".…read more


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