STYLISTIC ANALYSIS OF “ A CUP OF TEA”
To be honest, when I read the story, I thought “ how absurd this is”. The first appearance of the story to me was just like this. But when I re- thought about some details I realised that the story is not that absurd. Above, it includes some social factors in it. And I think my assignment is going to be all about those details, because for me, “truth always hides itself in details”, so to analyse this story I’m to deal with them.
2. Summary of the story
The story is all about Rosemary Fell, a rich, young and modern country woman and one of her shopping days. This day, and an extra-ordinary day it was, started after she got out from an antique shop with a little box in her mind, that she is planing to buy. What made this ordinary day, extra- ordinary came with a voice of a young, poor girl, Miss Smith. She was shyly asking money for a cup of tea. At the moment Rosemary couldn’t believe her ears. How can someone doesn’t have money, even for a cup of tea? She thought a little, and decided to make an invitation. She invited this young, poor girl to her home. After some insist, Miss Smith accepted this invitation. They went home and had some cup of tea, and chat for a while. It was a chat that mostly Rosemary talk and Miss Smith listen with tears in her eyes. Then Philip, the husband of Rosemary appeared. He was confused to see Miss Smith, because she is not like one of the other friends of Rosemary. Then he wanted to talk with her and they went to the library. They had a conversation about the poor girl. Philip thought this situation is ridiculous, besides, he thought that Miss Smith is beautiful and pretty. This thought of Philip shocked Rosemary. She didn’t look to her as Philip did. After she got out from the library she decided to give some money to her and let her go. Jealousy was the only reason for this.
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3. Ideational functions
a. Rosemary as participant
i ) Relational process
We can both understand her physical and personal state from the story. Everybody seems to be cheerful to her and acts like she is the one and only. This lady is the most active role of the story. We even can say the story is based on her. There are some sentences used to describe her image.
a. She was young, brilliant, extremely modern, exquisitely well dressed…
b. … how charming her hands were against the blue velvet.
ii. Mental process
Mentally Rosemary is the organiser of the story, everything starts with her and so they finish with her. Her words are the commands for the others. For example, if she wants, Miss Smith to come home and have a cup of tea with her, Miss Smith must obey. Her commands are indeclinable. Although she seems to be philanthropic. I think she is not, for me she is so selfish.
a. It would be thrilling (taking the poor girl home)
b. And she heard herself saying afterwards to the amazement of her friends “ I simply took her home with me”
c. “ Well keep it for me. Will you? I’ll…” but the shop man had already bowed as though keeping it for her was all any human being can ask. He would be willing, of course, to keep it for her forever.
Miss Smith as participant
i ) Relational process
She is the blur character of the story. Although we couldn’t find information about her, she is the second important role. She appears to be young, poor, shy and pretty. But for me her main appearance is her tiredness. Besides, her personal or physical states are not that clear as Rosemary’s.
a. … said the girl and there was pain in her voice
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b. Battered creature with enormous eyes, someone quite young…
ii) Mental process
There seems to be nothing abut her mental process. From the beginning till the end she just did what she is said to.
a. “ Won’t you take off your hat?“ very good madam” and the crushed hat was taken off
b. The girl stayed just as she had been put
Philip as participant
i ) Relational process
We can just guess his personal and physical state. We can say that, he is a gentleman and he is a nice guy. And I think he is charming.
a. … “will Miss Smith excuse us”
b. Philip smiled his charming smile
ii. Mental process
I think, he exist in the story to make the final boom. Everything changes after his appearance. And he did this by saying:
a. “ She is so astonishingly pretty”
b. “ she is absolutely lovely”
c. “ I was bowled over…”
Rosemary represent the rich in this story, and Miss Smith is the poor one. Depending to this situation, the words used to describe them are totally different. We can see that the words describing Rosemary are stronger than the words used for Miss Smith. The words for Rosemary are: brilliant, extremely modern, exquisitely well-dressed, quite presentable and amusing; and I think one word gives the clue of how Miss Smith look like: creature (not even a human).
As we understand these two women can also be described as powerful and weak. Rosemary has the power because she has the money, and money always brings power. Miss smith is poor, so she is weak. This situation has nothing to do with their characters, if we switch the places of these two women, this time Miss Smith will be the powerful one. I mean ( money = power ).
When we think that this story is written by a woman, we can understand why Philip thought “pretty” about Miss Smith. “ A man will never mind the social status, they always look to a woman within a different point of view ( pretty, or not pretty that’s the question! ) and this is the only thing they can think about, except football and cars.”
5. Textual and interpersonal functions
Rosemary proves her power in every dialogue. In her relationships, she is always the number one. She happen to be a commander. The first dialogue happens with the shop man and he seems like, he can do everything for Rosemary. But for me, the most important dialogue in the story is between Rosemary and Miss Smith. When I read that dialogue, a picture from my mind appeared in my eyes. I asked to myself , if I also had this kind of a dialogue, and I remember those homeless children, trying to sell me handkerchief. Just like Miss Smith, they are trying to be respectful to me. After I realised that, although I didn’t want, I treated them just like Rosemary did to Miss Smith. I think, when one feels superior, this is inescapable.
By Susan Antilla Published by Bloomberg, 2002 In the early 1980 s, a growing number of women began to enter the securities industry. Unfortunately, they found a very hostile working environment. One of the biggest securities firms, Smith Barney, had a network of retail brokerage companies through Shearson/American Express. Pam Martens worked in its very successful Garden City, Long Island branch. ...
There is also another dialogue we can see between Philip and Rosemary. In that conversation, although Philip seems to be the stronger one, he could not change Rosemary’s mind. And I guess there is no one in the world can change this kind of a woman’s mind, except love.
Before making my conclusion, I read the stuff I wrote, and I saw, mainly I mentioned; how poor is Miss Smith and how rich is Rosemary, and their appearance as two different women. And within the light of these, I’m happy to write:
In conclusion, I can say that although a human is always a human, the instincts are always stronger than humanity. As we can see, at the very beginning, Rosemary was trying to be helpful to Miss Smith, but when jealousy came to the scene, she gave 3 pounds and simply kicked Miss Smith. I think this is the rule of the world, both in the wild animal life and in modern human life…