commentary on 'the loneliness of the long distance runner' by Alan Sillitoe

Essay by sansastarkCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2014

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Assignment 2: Commentary on an extract from 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner' By Alan Sillitoe (1959)

Sillitoe uses the themesof loneliness and alienation from society through how the narrator is portrayedto be in a battle between classes, 'If only 'them' and 'us' had the same ideas we'd get on like a house on fire' (p7).The theme of class conflict is elaborated through howSillitoe develops on the character by creating a distinctive narrative voiceusing a semantic field of non-standard English;'shagged' (p9) and 'nowt' (p17).This creates the key quality of naivety in the ordinary, working classcharacter Silltoe has created;Smith's desire to escape his social position initiates the anger and frustration he has towards 'the pot-bellied pop eyed bastards' (p13) and 'posh whores' (p15). The pressure of society placing the man of the house as the bread-winner conveys the reason to why the narrator turned to crime as a way of life

Throughout the extract the narratoruses thepersonalpronoun'us' to describe himself and a group of peoplethat the audience presume is his social class; this is due to the constant elaboration of the two different categories of people 'us' and 'them'and how the idea of the social class struggling in the 1950's is reflected through other writers in the same era.

It is described through 'The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working-Class Life' By Richard Hoggart; Hoggart states:

'One may call this, making use of a word commonly used by the working -classes, the world of 'Them'. 'Them' is a composite dramatic figure, the chief character in modern urban forms of the rural peasant-big-house relationships. The world of 'them' is the world of the bosses, whether those bosses are private individuals or, as is increasingly the case today, public officials.'

Smith talks about honesty in the extract 'I think more...