The Pupil Essay examples

690 Words Apr 12th, 2013 3 Pages
In the opening passage of The Pupil, Henry James effectively presents three distinct characters. The literary devices of tone and point of view are most prominent in the opening passage in which James introduces the characters: Mrs. Moreen, Morgan Moreen, and Pemberton. The author utilized tone to produce an image as well as feelings towards the characters as well as the concept of aristocracy as a whole. The relationships between the characters add to the feelings that surround human society in the short story. The social structure of the aristocracy creates a setting for the story that makes the relationships even more complex. The bitter timidity of Pemberton revealed through his point of view exposes the underlying conflict beneath the …show more content…
James uses a lighthearted tone in his descriptions to characterize her as content, but there is also an underlying sense of arrogance. She enjoys thinking of herself as an aristocrat, as if she is pretending or hoping that she could be a part of that. As she wishes for a very profitable life, she has little sympathy for either Pemberton or her son Morgan. In fact, Morgan differs greatly with his mother despite their identical lifestyles. Although Morgan may be believed to be a brat, he is actually humble, intelligent, and the most sensitive of the characters. James also completely changes his tone as well as his diction when he describes Morgan Moreen. While his mother was described with a light tone, James switches over to a realistic and admirable tone as he begins his characterization of Morgan. These changes are intended to be subtle so that they do not take away from the flow of the well-written story. However, they are also intended to slightly change the reader’s feelings and emotions toward the characters and their relationships. Morgan and his mother are very isolated from each other, so much so that it is hard to identify them as mother and son when they are first introduced. Morgan appears to have sympathy and understanding for Pemberton’s situation. Ultimately, the tone, diction, and point of view in the opening passage all contributed in the characterizations and establishment of a setting for the rest of the short story.

Related Documents