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The Disconted Husband

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The text under analysis is one of the stories belonging to the pen of Agatha Christie (née Miller; 15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976), an English writer, novelist, and playwright. The author’s books are still sold in millions of copies.

The story tells us about a man, Mr Reginal Wade, who asked Mr Parker Pyne for a piece of advice at his domestic concerns with his wife: she asked him divorce. Mr Wade is fond of her and doesn’t want to let her go. Mr Pyne decides to help him with the participation of Ms. De Sara. She enters the Wade’s house and spends a lot of time with Reginal. She does her best to make Mrs Wade sure her husband is in love with the young lady. That makes Mrs Wade jealous and fall in love with her husband back. But at that moment Mr Wade is already in love with Ms de Sara, but the young lady does not want his love.

The text presents generally characters’ direct speech with elements of author’s narration, so that  the style of the story is mostly colloquial – the author uses elliptical sentences, repetition, ellipsis of grammatical forms amply to detach it. Reading the text, we can notice that the place of the action changes throughout the story. At first, it is Mr Parker Pyne’s office, then it takes place at the Wades’ house and later, it is Mr Pyne’s office again. So, we can notice that the text has ring construction of the place of action.

At the beginning of the text the author introduces the main characters – Mr Parker Pyne and Mr Reginal Wade. Mr Pyne is sitting at the office and waiting for a new client. Mr Parker is described indirectly. From the context we can guess he is a smart and sly person and he is good at his sphere – understanding human nature. The author shows it with the help of periphrasis “a specialist in every kind of human trouble” and parallel construction with repetition – “there are wives who are in trouble over their husbands. There are husbands who are in trouble over their wives”. Moreover, the author use the indefinite article “a Mr Reginald Wade” to show us that human troubles are accustomed for Mr Pyne and he does not pay much attention to who comes to him: he is capable of solving any kind of problems

Then the author passed to the scene with Mr Pyne and Mr Wade’s conversation. Right from the moment Mr Wade enters the office, Mr Pyne starts analyzing him. The author shows how the client looked in the eyes of Mr Pyne with the help of epithets “inarticulate type”, “mild, pleasant blue eyes”, metaphorical expression “the pathos of dumbed animal” to point out his subjective attitude to this man – he looked handsome but felt neglected inside. The author uses repetition to show that: “That’s it! That’s it, exactly!” The man tells Mr Pyne his problem: his wife doesn’t love him anymore and wants to get a divorce. That is why Mr Wade came to Mr Pyne – for help and a piece of advice. He loves his wife and does not want to lose her. The depth of his feeling is shown with the help of climax: “I adore her. I worship the ground she walks on. I would cut myself into little pieces for her”. From his speech we can guess that he is far from literature and more mundane. The author uses expressive synonyms to show that: “chap”, “fellow”, “ass like me”, “look here”. When he ends the story, Mr Pyne points out his mistakes in his matrimony and it is depicted with the help of parallel construction: “you should have gloried in your athletic prowess. You should have spoken of art and music as ‘all that nonsense my wife likes” and chiasmus: “you realize that while what she said was true – that you had never understood her – it is also true that she had never understood you”, a detachment “boredom with the atmosphere  of uncritical devotion and absolute fidelity with which…you have surrounded her”. Mr Pyne offers the strategy of winning Mr Wade’s wife back to the husband. He does not go into details, but he says about the result of the action and how Mr Wade is going to look like in the eyes of his wife. The author uses paraphrases on the lexical level and antithesis on the syntactical level: “you will no longer be ‘poor dear old Reggie’. You will be ‘that sly dog Reggie”.

As the story unfolds we obtain further information about the characters. The author goes on to the scene with Mrs Wade and her friend So, we got to know about Mrs Wade. She is described both in direct and indirect ways. The author tells she is beautiful with help of periphrasis “made a delicious spot of colour”. From her speech we got to know she does not love her husband and, moreover, she neglects him and does not even believe somebody can ever love him. It is shown with the help of italicized word “Reggie”, periphrasis “the poor little fellow”. Moreover, we got to know about Ms de Sara. She is described both in direct and indirect ways. The author uses epithet “exquisitely dark curls”, “undeniable beautiful” to show the young lady appearance. Moreover, we can see how she looks in the eyes of Mrs Wade and her friends – they find her beautiful but they do not believe she can win his heart. It is stated directly and shown with the help of repetition: “Opulent. She is too opulent looking” and periphrasis “She’s Reggie’s little friend”. From the context we understand she is good at her job: she is witty and sly – it is shown in the scene where talks to Mrs Wade and her friend and praise Reginald, giving a witty hint about Iris and her relationship with a new man. She gives the impression of a silly girl in love and that is exactly what she is up to. The author depicts it with the help of parallel construction and emphatic “do”: I do think it’s so sweet of you to have me here. Some woman are so suspicious of their husbands’ friends. I do think jealously is absurd, don’t you?”

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