This is a passage from the book “Doctor in the house” by Richard Gordon, a well-known English writer, the author wrote his “Doctor” series, which is noted for description of medical student’s years of professional training. The present extract touches upon the final examinations of medical students. The text under analysis belong to the psychological type and description type as it is concerned mainly with the emotional actions of the characters. The subject-matter of this text is about sitting for examinations. The author tries to show the reader different actions and feelings during the passing the examinations.
The composition of this text consists of the following components: exposition, when the author gives the concept of an examination. Narration, when the author describes passing the examinations, an interesting story about passing an examination at Cambridge. And the climax, when the author shows the examination results. The ending is absent. The idea of the text can be formulated that an examination is nothing more than an investigation of man’s knowledge. We learn about the students well, because the author created true-to-life characters, even more so the Author was passing the examinations himself. The author proves to be a real master.
And he employs a lot of expressive means and stylistic devices to make the story vivid and bright. The text is emotionally moving, and some details produce an emotional reaction. I would like to comment on the effect of the use of metaphor, simile, hyperbole, metonymy. For example by a simile “the final examinations are something like death” the author shows condition of a student before an examination, “like a prize-fighter” also shows a contest, then the author compares, using the simile, the students that want to produce a certain impression and looking at professor like the “impressionable music enthusiasts gazing at the solo violinist”.
Medical textbooks compared through metaphor to a “well-trodden paths”. From his point of view the “porters….. like the policemen”, a hyperbole “…an examination is nothing more than an investigation of man’s knowledge” what a examination is, a metaphor “…frustrated brilliance” about a gone hope of a student, “ a final breathless sprint” and metonymy “….. interrogation” this word is used as conversation between examiners and a student. Of course he couldn’t avoid the student’s confusion to the state of “a cow in a bog”.
Some words are dedicated to the checking the students works, and we can surely say that they are written in sarcastic key, just remember the words that “The night before the results come out the old don totters bade, from hall and chucks the lot down the staircase. The ones that stick on the top flight are given firsts most of them end up on the landing and get seconds, thirds go to the lower flight, and any reaching the ground floor are failed. And according to the author, this system has been working admirably for years without arousing any comment. The process of receiving the results is also needs to be mentioned. By giving the “nicknames” to some characters, with the help of antonomasia we see their “core”, their “essence” – the Nonchalant, the Frankly Worried, the Crammer, the Old Stager.
Sailing down along the stream of his story, the author proceeds from long and compound sentences, describing the students’ life – in the beginning, letting us “dive” into that world, to short sentences – in the last part of the extract, the part which is read with rising excitement. Thus, he transmits us the emotional condition of the student in these exam-days. On the whole, the text is reach in stylistic devices, which are used to reveal the characters’ inner world and feelings as well as the author treatment of them and situation.