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Five Twenty by Patrick White

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by

Norman Crawford

on 24 March 2015

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Transcript of Five Twenty by Patrick White

Literary Analysis of Five Twenty
Five Twenty by Patrick White
Patrick White:
Originally born in London, White moved along with his family to Sydney, Australia in which he spent a bulk of his early life. Following his early schooling he was sent to England for school. Upon his return he declared to be a writer. A big issue surrounding White at the time of his rise as a writer was the fact that he was a open homosexual which was unorthodox in that time frame. Despite that, he published 12 novels, three short-story collections and eight plays. This lead to him being the first Australian to win a Nobel Price in Literature.
Theme
Undying Love v. Dependency

“the teeth looked amazingly alive”

This quote stood out due to the way that it referred to the issue that Ella continued to follow the routine of cleaning Royals' dentures even after his passing.

"The feeling part of had been removed, what remained was a slack, discarded eiderdown. Must have been the pills the doctor gave”.

This exemplified the issues faced following the death of her husband and it seems as a though she is losing here mind through the death and obsession that she had for her husband.

Question: Do you feel that the attachment to the dentures by Ella is an example of lack of identity and dependency or do you feel that this is undying love?
Summary
The symbolism became a mask for the quest of love for Ella. This story is extremely familiar to most people due to the numerous situations that are seen in the lives of many readers. Many people deal with passive relationships in which one person allows another to control them due to the love between the two. This, along with the scenario of continuing life and finding happiness after the death of a loved one are commonly seen in the lives of many people.
Textual Analysis
The author provides example of many literary tools, the most important stood to be the imagery, foreshadowing, and symbolism.
"He had a hair lip, there was no mistaking. Although it was well sewn"
This shows that the author connected the man with the Holden and Royal through their deformities and handicaps which also opened the readers eyes to the inevitable demise of both. Along with that, the author makes the over expression of emotion from Ella apparent once again even after she realizes that she didn't get the mans name.
"She must have killed him from loving too deep"
This helps to tie the entire them together when referring to the thin line between undying love and dependency.

Question: Do you feel that the author purposely created similarities in both of Ella's lovers to symbolize their inevitable demise?

What are some other vital literary tools used that you felt helped to mole the story for the reader?
Full transcript