Stylistic analysis: One Stair Up by Campbell Nairne

Category: Contract
Last Updated: 12 Mar 2023
Essay type: Analysis
Pages: 3 Views: 91

The book “One stair up” was written by a Scottish novelist Campbell Nairne in 1934 and describes the life of a working-class family from Edinburgh. And we can see a fragment that shows fine style and good sense of humour. The scene takes place in one of the Broadway cinemas. Two young people – Andrew and Rosa – decided to watch some movie. The culminating point of this story is the moment when Andrew says in excitement, “Good, isn't it? ”, but receives the answer, “I don't see anything funny in that”. In this scene we can see how different Rosa and Andrew are.

From this fragment we don’t know anything about their origin and social status, but we can guess that Rosa was from richer family than Andrew, that’s why she had better taste and didn’t like the foolish comedy. We can also easily understand it from one sentence: “It pleased her to be seen in the dress circle, even with Andrew”. She hoped to see some of her friends to spend more pleasant time with them, but as she couldn’t see anybody, she had to stay with Andrew. There is one more evidence for it: “Is he really so stupid, she wondered. Yes, I suppose he is”.

All these facts show us that Andrew and Rosa had very different social status. So, we can say that the main idea of this small fragment is to show how difficult it is for people from different classes to understand each other. What is fun for one is absolutely fool for another. Some habits, like talking in the cinema, are absolutely normal for one and unacceptable for another. I think that the moral of the story can be very well illustrated with two proverbs: “Tastes differ” and “A place for everything and everything in its place”. In order to describe the scene properly author uses different stylistic devices.

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On the whole he describes the movies that the heroes watched in details, so the reader can easily imagine everything that happened on the screen. For this aim the author forms his speech into short sentences that follow one after another like the scenes of the movie. But to make the story more artistic he uses, first of all, different epithets: “shadowy faces”, “looped curtain”. Also there are similes: the carpet “yielded like springing turf”, “a hard-worked dog, for you saw it, or another like it, in dozens of these comic films” and other to recall some associations in the readers’ mind and to make the images more “visible”.

What is more, similes help the reader understand the way of thinking of different characters and the author, too. The author uses different set phrases like “The film seemed to have smashed all records. It drew tears from the hardest hearts. It sent thrills down the spine” and others. It is described even with some kind of sarcasm as a sample of bad taste. Also there is an oxymoron: the main part in the “mightiest drama of Broadway” has a “bewitching” actress named Minnie Haha.

Also the author uses book and high lexicon for usual things, for example: “to-night he would resist that awful temptation to explain the story in a whisper”, so it’s a burlesque. As for me, I liked this story, but I feel pity to Andrew. It is better to have a good sense of humour than trying to show your tastes. And Andrew just wanted to have better social position and dated with a girl from a rich family. But it is really difficult to them to be together. So, I think that Campbell Nairne had shown everything really truly.

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Stylistic analysis: One Stair Up by Campbell Nairne. (2016, Jul 18). Retrieved from

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