Sunday, January 5, 2020

Literary Analysis - Mr Van Gogh - 1110 Words

Literary Analysis - Mr Van Gogh Chania Baldwin Owen Marshall’s ‘Mr Van Gogh’ addresses the inevitable issue of marginalisation of an individual. Through language features he influences the reader to reflect and consider action of the attitudes towards the socially marginalised. The social rejection of an individual is described through the voice of the town bully, and the cowardly acts of the narrator. Set in a small town in New Zealand it serves as a microcosm of contemporary society. Marshall presents a parable to educate the reader so they understand that there is only inclusion when there is exclusion. Marshall aims to influence the reader to take action and act in ways that challenge the universal social norms. Through the†¦show more content†¦Ironically by calling Frank, ‘Mr Van Gogh’, the community are isolating him, destining him to follow Van Gogh’s fate - a misjudged genius dying alone, unrecognised in his lifetime for his work. The exclusion that Marshall created through the voice of the town bully is additionally seen through the acts of the bystanders in the community. The marginalisation of Frank is reflected through the cowardly acts of the narrator. The townspeople have no interest in standing up for Frank; he stands up for himself. In, ‘Mr Van Gogh was standing before the laughter with his arms outstretched like a cross’, the simile accentuates to the reader that Frank is derided, the town bully and his accompanies laugh at the fight he reluctantly devotes himself to. The Biblical allusion emphasises the use of the simile by connecting Frank to Jesus; this shows that Frank and Jesus have a parallel relationship - Frank is being used as a sacrifice for the entertainment of the townspeople, sacrificing himself by standing up for his hero, Van Gogh. The community proceeds to be spectators even if they believe the ridiculing is wrong; they convince themselves that the discrimination is not their business, highlighted in, ‘I went away from the fence without watching anymore’. Pontius Pilate walked away, ‘washed his ha nds’ of responsibility of Jesus’s crucifixion; the narrator relates because he sees Frank being used as a human sacrifice, yet he turns his back and walks away -

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