Dialect in D. H. Lawrence's A Sick Collier Essay

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Dialect in D. H. Lawrence's A Sick Collier

How much can one tell from the dialogue and dialect from a piece of literature? "A Sick Collier" by D. H. Lawrence is a short story that exemplifies how important dialect can be to the understanding of a story. This story's dialect is key to many elements of the story. Through the dialect, the reader gets a full picture of the setting, understanding of the collier's social class, and shows the difference in intelligence between the collier and the other speaking characters.

The story begins with background information setting up the scene for the story. Then suddenly it hits you. The collier says "Set th' table ofr my breakst, an' put my pitthing affront o' th' fire. I s'll be
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Since he has not used table manners before, he is not willing to start using table manners now.

The collier behaves in this manner because of his low social class. This idea is also expressed through the dialect. The collier is a poor, uneducated, blue-collar worker. When the collier becomes ill, he cannot understand what exactly is wrong with him. While working he tears his bladder and it is explained to him that he will have a sensation that makes him feel like he need to urinate. Yet when he feels this sensation, he begins to lose his sanity. The collier cannot understand how his body can be telling him he has to urinate when he really does not need to. The doctor tried to explain these phantom sensations to him to no avail. His wife also tries to explain that it is just a sensation and that it will go away. Still, the collier does not calm down. He even begins to blame his wife for the sensation. He says, "Th' peen's commin' on again, I tell yer. I'll kill her for it" (Lawrence 5). If the collier were more intelligent, he would not let the sensation overwhelm his emotions.

Though the collier is uneducated, his wife is intelligent. She speaks proper English throughout the story. Her dialogue shows the difference of intelligence between her and her husband. The story begins "she was too good for him, everybody said" (Lawrence 1). The reader is left wondering about how she is better than him. Then after

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