Letter between Edward and Helen Thomas 1917 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Letter between Edward and Helen Thomas 1917 Deck (40)
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1

"Here I am"

Register is more colloquial and personal
Writing in present tense
Choice of syntax also creates the personal, informal register

2

"The artillery is like a stormy tide breaking on the shores of the full moon"

Synaesthesic smilies (sounds vs physical element)
Coupled with a metaphor of the shores of the full moon

3

"white cirrus clouds"

Alliteration, poetic description removes the reality of the place he's in and makes Helen feel secure and at ease

4

"The pretty village among trees that I first saw two weeks ago is now just ruins among violated stark tree trunks"

Juxtaposition

5

"O.P" , "the Bosh", "shells"

Employing semantics of trenches and war without explanation, assuming Helen is familiar with this discourse

6

"he is going to surprise us"

Personalising the germans as a whole, referring to them as singular

7

"shone and larks and partridge and magpies and hedgesparrows"

Semantic of nature

8

"Made love and trench was being made passable for the wounded"

Oxymoronic language

9

"I am tired but resting."

Short sentence highlighted against previous dramatic description

10

Syntax

Thomas’ syntax also creates the personal, informal register with his sentences being simple or compound, usually structured with co-ordinating conjunctions such as “but” and “and”. The use of simple and compound sentences in most of the text and the asyndeton gives a sense of impressionistic note like observations

11

"Yesterday afternoon"

Uses temporal discourse markers to divide and highlight his non-chronological structure

12

"You should have seen Horton and me dodging them"

Choice of collocations such as "you should have seen" mixed with use of second person convey intimacy with his reader
"dodging" is an aggressive verb

13

"We shall be enormously busy now"

Uses past, present, future tense retrospectively

14

"Violated", "harvested"

Both surprising lexical choices- harvested is a biblical metaphor

15

"Jolly"

Pragmatics, language change

16

Lexical choices

Generally informal, particularly his use of colloquial, perhaps vague modifiers and verbs

17

"All and always yours Edwy"

Valediction is rushed, familiar form of his name

18

Form

Writes in the form of a prose letter
Written text

19

"Dearest"

warm letter salutation

20

Purpose

Written as a private letter to his wife (even though his letter might have been opened and censored)

21

Context

Thomas was a junior officer in WW1 trenches, in one of the highest risk casualty groups
Produced in extraordinary circumstances as he was close to his own death

22

"moon riding among white cirrus clouds"

Juxtaposition of artillery, balances the sound of artillery and the sights of the trenches

23

"Farewell and God bless you"

Church was extremely important then

24

"Beloved"

Doesn't need to name or address, she is effectively writing to herself

25

"Darkness and despair"

Alliteration

26

"I saw the Spring come sweet heart. Such a Spring of flowers"

Sibilance- soft sound to the introduction of spring
Semantic of nature

27

"do you remember!"

Exclamative, knows she won't get an answer from him

28

"touched the moist green grass"

Sensory imagery, reaches to nature to be close to him

29

"Content"

Repetition of content which is ironic as she is not content

30

"This is my fear"

personal pronoun 'my'