Significant Cigarettes, Rose Tremain



'like a married couple'- simile here juxtaposes the idea of seperateness with marriage. Could be connected to the fact that Lev has lost his wife.

'into a rainy morning'- Pathetic fallacy used to suggest their arrival in London is unwelcoming.

'And Lev thought how all of this ...' 'and already'- Repetition here of 'and' at the beginning of sentences suggests how Lev's thoughts are wondering.

'He looked away'- short sentence emphasise how quickly he turned- discomfort.

'with rain falling'- Pathetic fallacy used to suggest pessmism of future.

'How long before the next gas stop'- Rhetorical question shows what Lev thinks.

'in his bed before London was bombed'- alliteration suggests repeated bombing.

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first paragraph = Pleasant description of setting contrasts with words 'huddled' and 'staring' describing Lev. Reader gets impression that he is not happy to go. Fresh green of garlic symbolises a fresh start to be made through the trip.

'clutched...Russian cigarettes'- cigarettes symbolise his culture. 'clutched' suggests how he wants to hold on to his culture.

'no smoking allowed on this bus'- already at this early strage, Lev finds challenge and must adapt.

'his heart remained in his own country'- patriotism and dislike at having to leave home and determination to hang on to culture. 'his' shows attatchment to homeland.

'There were two coach drivers'- Paragraph shifts focus away from Lev to actual journey.

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'darkness on silent marshes'- more listing emphasises the length of the journey across changing landscapes.

'his wife, Marina, was dying'- details of Lev's family life gives more context.

'linoleum flooring'- description of sleeping suggests Lev went through hardship for his family.

'painting strange pictures in Lev's brain that had never completely vanished'- the imagery here represents Lev's emotional distress associated with the time of his wife's death

'where he'd taken Marina'- the smell of the egg evokes memories. Link between the past and present.

"I expect you understand what I mean?'- Lydia is adventurous unlike Lev.

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'My name is Lev'- Lev chooses to initiate conversation with Lydia. Maybe because he remembers the stork. Stork not dying represents the continuation of life. Lev seems to make a concious decision at this point, as he puts past aside and continues present.

'may I say some words?'- decision to practice English suggests willingness to embrace the future.

'Lovely. Sorry. I am legal.'- Series of expressions shows how limited his English is.

'B&B'- Surprising mention of stork and B&B creates some humour in the text.

'Lev could now see that darkness'- nightfall reminds the reader us of passing of time. This paragraph contarsts with Lydia's boredom of the same scene as Lev remembers his home village.

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'he told Lydia'- Lev does most of the talking. Seems to need to talk to someone.

'They ran out of trees', said Lev'- this sugests hopelessness.

'Lev drank again'- his drinking at the moment Lydia mentions work is significant. Shows his anxiety and stress about finding a job.

'red blankets'- red motif again, Red symbolises communism. Lev is travelling to London from a formerly communist controlled state.

'English book'- Lydia is better prepared for England, immersed in new culture. He envies.

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'little loss'- juxtaposed with suicide. Lev's communist-ness influenced his lack of sympathy.

'infernal luck'- 'infernal' suggests resentment and hate for the English.

'leaving of my home was hard and bitter, but my time is coming''- ends on a positive note, suggesting some determination and hope for the future.

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  • Third person but we see everything from Lev's perspective
  • Lev examines a £20 note and reflects on the lucky life the man on the note must've had.
  • Structurally, there is more than one journey in the text.:

               1)The actual bus journey across Europe
               2) Lev's own journey of changing his attitude.

  • Changes begin mostly after the stork memory. Maybe because the stork not dying symbolises continuation of life. Lev realises he has to move on.
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