when the wasps drowned

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  • Created by: Harpreet
  • Created on: 16-05-13 09:59

what the story's about

a girl called Evelin has had to take on the mother role to care for her siblings as her mother works all day.

she is at the age where she begins to learn about her sexuality and the world of boys.

they live next door to a man called mr.mordecai.

the kids discover a dead body in the garden halfway between mr.mordecai's garden and theirs.

later on 2 detectives come to their door and ask if they had seen a girl, they showed a picture of the girl to Evelin and she lied about her discovery to the officers.

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the transition from childhood into adulthood, Eveline becomes aware of sexuality.

line 36 ' We'd walk down to the park and I'd sit by the swings and watch the boys.'

line 39 ' I'd fashioned a bikini from a pair of pink knickers and an old vest which I'd cropped just below my *******.' this quote suggests she's trying to grow up too fast and maybe even misses the absence of her mother. First bikini buys are normall with a mother.

there's a time in our lives where we realise people are not what they seem. Mr Mordecai is really a sinister person and we gather that because he's only mentioned a couple times throughout the whole story.

the death of innocence 'That was the summer Therese stepped on the wasp's nest and brought an end to our barefoot wanderings'

at the end of the story we gather that the 'That' was referring to the dead body that was discovered and that it had brought an end to their innocence and childhood.

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the story is very compact, things happen quickly which could be representative of how ironcally unerved she seems and that everything is normal.

the fact that things happen quickly give a constant shock on the reader we are always surprised by unexpected things.

the little sections gives the reader the chance to make predicitions about what's to happen.

Clare Wigfall plays around with structure

rather than having the setting, or the characters that build up to an inciting incident we have the word 'that' to begin with.

this is a pronoun used to refer to one, implied, mentioned or understood thing.



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structure continued

by using this pronoun, Clare Wigfall has intrigued the reader because they want to know what 'that' is referring to right at the beginning.

the fact that the wasps indicate the passage of time, suggests that 'that' is an event and makes the reader want to know more.

all the way throughout we are given clues but no answers, it is only right at the end do we get that revelation and we put the clues together to figure it out. by doing the structure like this, we are almost playing 'detective' too.

line 20 'that was the summer they dug up Mr Mordecai's garden .'

we're not told why they dug up the garden or who 'they' are.

nothing more is mentioned of the garden of Mr Mordecai's until line 115.

'Do you think you might have seen this girl?'

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structure continued

it is not explained; is this the girl who they had found buried in the garde? had she been murdered? is the murderer Mr Mordecai?

when we put the clues together, we come up with the shocking conclusion that the 'that' at the beginning of the story was referring to the summer they discovered the dead body and that their neighbour is a murderer.

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the title is very ambigiuous. it's a misleading title, not only about the wasps drowning but it is about a more significant event> finding the dead body in the garden.

the whole story is about the unsaid, the absence of answers. this leaves the reader to make interpretations about what's to happen.

we the reader have to work a lot of things out.

it is never stated that Mr Mordecai's is the murderer, who killed the missing girl from the photo and buried her.

line 20+21    'that was the summer they dug up Mr Mordecai's garden.'

                     diblys (the pause/change in topic or time)

                 'we heard her screams from the inside'

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title continued

now if we put these two sentences together, they appear as though they could be related. of course we know the screams are Therese's but there is a sinister feel to it.

the sinister nature of the second line is linked to the ambiguous nature of the first line.

the wasps have connotations with things humans dont like and are scared of. the wasps could symbollise the danger and murder and death. or it could mean when the kids lost their innocence.

'therese scoured the grass looking for wasp corpses'

-she's looking for dead bodies (wasps bodies) but later she finds the human body.>>foreshadowing for when she does find it.

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the story is in the first person narriative, this allows us to relate amd empathise with the thoughts and feelings Eveline is feeling.

after haaving read the story we are reminded of her fears because we are in shock from the discovery, for example 'it was the first time the garden walls seemed confining' this quote suggests that they are trapped mentally from the knowing and they cannot escape it. no freedom.

because it's in the first person we question the immorality of her decision because we feel 'oh you should have said this' type thing, what is Wigfall doing this for?

she's trying to show inner conflict within people and how it can influence the decisions we make.

line 98 'when I closed my eyes I could see Therese's dream, the arm growing up through the soil'

the dream is juxtaposed with a nightmare. a dream is a childlike fanstasy. this quote suggests she cannot escape the fear she has found.

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