According to Hughes and Kenneth in the article Signs of Literature: Language, Ideology and the Literary Text, Literature is a compilation of written work which expresses universal interests and permanent ideas (Hughes & Kenneth 2). Literature was primarily used to mean works of imaginations in poetry and works that differentiate the authors by how well they presented their visions to their audiences. Nowadays, literature is classified based on language, origin, genre, period, and subject (Maslov 23).
Transition into the Thesis Statement
The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin is a short story that features Daniel Pecan Cambridge as the main protagonist (Martin 3). The story was first published in 2003. Daniel is diagnosed with an obsessive compulsive disorder which makes him act in strange manners. The story centers on Daniel, his interactions, and obsessions around his house in Santa Monica in California. . Other characters in the short story include Elizabeth Warner, Clarissa, Zandy, Daniels grandmother, Philipa, and Brian.
The Mark on the Wall was first published in the year 1917 by Virginia Woolf and Leonard Woolf in her first short stories collection named "two stories." Later on, in 1921, the story was republished in New York in Monday or Tuesday which was another collection. In the story, the author uses the first person to express the flow of consciousness of the narrator (Woolf & David 4). The narrator identifies the mark on the wall, and the observation keeps the narrator in deep thoughts reflecting ideas of religion, nature, self-reflection, and the uncertainties of life. This easy will compare two works of fiction. The pleasure of my company by Steve Martin will be compared with the mark on the wall by Virginia Woolf
This easy will compare two works of fiction. The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin will be compared with The Mark On The Wall by Virginia Woolf. In this analysis, the comparison will purely be based on the narrative style, setting, the characterization and humor in the two stories.
Comparison 1: The narrative style.
The pleasure of my company and the mark on the wall use similar styles of narration. For instance, the pleasure of my company uses both monolog and dialogue to narrate the events in the story (Shea & William 10). For example, Daniel says "Once I positioned my palm between my eyes and the sun, and I felt this had something to do with Granny, for it was she who stood between me and what would scorch me. Through the monolog, the narrator can bring along other characters to build the plot of the story. Additionally, the narrator portrays the character of Daniel`s grandmother as caring. She gives more attention to Daniel who seems not to be concerned. Daniel further says I realized Brian was not a cuckold in the grand literary tradition. In fact, he was more like a mushroom. Martin uses dialogue to convey the conversation between the characters in the story and also uses monolog when the characters are deep in thoughts. Similarly, Woolf also uses monolog to exhibit the internal expression of thoughts of the character. Additionally, she uses dialogue when she realizes that she was just thinking deeply. For instance, her husband tells her I`m going out to buy a newspaper, and she responds, Yes?( Woolf & David 4)
Comparison 2: The setting of the stories.
Furthermore, both stories are set in the United States of America. In the pleasure of my company, the story is set in Santa Monica in California. Daniel lives in his home in Santa Monica, where all the events in the story take place. For example, the narrator says, At any one time, for example, the total wattage of active light bulbs in his Santa Monica apartment must be precisely 1,125. Street kerbs, meanwhile, are the insurmountable manifestation of all that is unacceptable to him: even the thought of stepping into the road at any other point than a driveway paralyzes him with panic. Not surprisingly, he is unable to hold down a job, surviving on state benefit and the generous donations of his beloved Texan granny." Through the statement, the narrator portrays Daniels obsession with precision. He sticks to what was originally socialized to him. Additionally, the statement confirms that the setting of the story is in the United States. Besides the mark on the wall is also set in New York where all the events happen. In the story, the narrator says "And then I came into the room. They were discussing botany. I said how I'd seen a flower growing on a dust heap on the site of an old house in Kingsway. Furthermore, the narrator adds that The Archbishop of Canterbury is followed by the Lord High Chancellor; the Lord High Chancellor is followed by the Archbishop of York. This statement further confirms that the story was set in the United States.
Comparison 3: The characterization.
Both stories have active characters. For instance, in the pleasure of my company, Daniel is the main protagonist. Daniel takes an active role in establishing the plot of the story and executing the theme of the story (Sweets 43). Daniel acts alongside other characters such as Elizabeth Warner, Clarissa, Zandy, Daniels grandmother, Philipa, and Brian. On the other hand, the mark on the wall uses a narrator who is the main character in the story alongside her husband. The author uses introspective writing technique to bring out the subsided thoughts that shift from one subject to another. The narrator identifies the mark on the wall, and the observation keeps the narrator in deep thoughts reflecting ideas of religion, nature, self-reflection, and the uncertainties of life.
Comparison 4: Humor
Both stories exhibit some forms of humor. For instance, in the pleasure of my company, the narrator displays the actions of Daniel as humorous. Daniel believes that he has fallen for Clarissa yet she is not even aware that a relationship exists. On the other hand, the narrator in the mark on the wall, the narrator fumbles with the idea of the mark on the wall giving it different explanations only to finally realize that it is a snail. The narrator finally admits All the same; I don't see why we should have a snail on our wall."
Evidently, the discussion above confirms that the pleasure of my company and the mark on the wall are similar based on the styles used, setting of the stories the characterization and humor. The books adhere to the general guidelines used in literature writing which make the themes clear to the readers.
Hughes, Kenneth J. Signs of Literature: Language, Ideology, and the Literary Text. , 2015. Vancouver: Talonbooks.
Martin, Steve. The Pleasure of My Company: A Novel. New York: Hyperion, 2003.
Maslov, Boris. Pindar and the Emergence of Literature. , 2015. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
Shea, Victor, and William Whitla. Victorian Literature: An Anthology. , 2015. Chichester, West Sussex, UK; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Sweets, Sparky. Thug Notes: A Street-Smart Guide to Classic Literature. , 2015. New York: Vintage Books.
Woolf, Virginia, and David Bradshaw. The Mark on the Wall and Other Short Fiction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
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