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The lumber room

The text under analysis is written by an outstanding British novelist and short story writer Hector
Munro. Hector Hugh Munro (December 18, 1870 November 13, 1916), better known by the pen
name Saki, was a British writer, whose witty and sometimes macabre stories satirized Edwardian
society and culture. He is considered a master of the short story and is often compared to O. Henry
and Dorothy Parker. His tales feature delicately drawn characters and finely judged narratives.
Saki's world contrasts the effete conventions and hypocrisies of Edwardian England with the
ruthless but straightforward life-and-death struggles of nature. Nature generally wins in the end.
The text tells us a story about a small boy Nicholas, who was brought up by his tyrannical and
ungoverned aunt Augusta. He was "in disgrace" as he had refused to eat his wholesome bread-andmilk that morning. When children were taken to Jag borough sands Nicholas made some attempts to
get into the gooseberry garden. As a matter of fact, he had no intention of trying to get into the
gooseberry garden, but it was extremely convenient for him that his aunt should believe that he had
unsympathetic. Soon his aunt tried to look for the boy and slipped into the rain-water tank. She
asked Nicholas to fetch a ladder but the boy pretended not to understand her, he said that she was
the Evil One. After this accident they both kept silent and everyone has been shipped in their
The kind of the story is the narration, in that story we see description of one lumber room. In the
story we meet Nicholas, the boy who have a big imagination The door opened, and Nicholas was
in an unknown land, compared with which the gooseberry garden was a stale delight, a mere
material pleasure.
I think the main idea of the story story is to show that adults can be wrong. Although they seem very
omnipotent they can be managed or controlled by children and in the end they are pretty vulnerable.
The beginning of the story is usual, we meet the description of the our main character, Nicholas,
The children were to be driven, as a special treat, to the sands at Jagborough. Nicholas was not to
be of the party; he was in disgrace. Only that morning he had refused to eat his wholesome breadand-milk on the seemingly frivolous ground that there was a frog in it.
The climax of the text. While the boy was admiring the colouring of a mandarin duck, the voice of
his aunt came from the gooseberry garden. She got slipped into the rain-water tank and couldnt go
out. She demanded from the boy to bring her a ladder, but he said her voice didnt sound like his
aunts. You may be the Evil One tempting me to be disobedient. Justice must be done. The Aunt
tasted the fruit of her own punishment on the children. She is accused of falling from grace, of lying
to Nicholas about jam and thus termed the Evil One. She feels what it is like to be condemned.
The denouncement. The Aunt is furious and enforces in the house. She maintained the frozen
muteness of one who has suffered undignified and unmerited detention in a rain-water tank for
thirty-five minutes. Nicholas was also silent, in the absorption of an enchanting picture of a hunter
and a stag.
The ending of the story reveals the authors social comment about the differences between the world
of the child and adult. Though the Aunt is furious, Nicholas is thinking about the hunter tricking the
hounds by using the stag as a bait. It is a representative of his own life, he is like a hunter able to

escape the hound (which represents his aunt and the dull reality of the adult world) by trickery and
In the story we meet 2 character, the little boy, Nicholas, and the aunt.
Nicholas is intelligent, as seen by the way he tricks his aunt. His vivid imagination is shown when
he makes up stories about the tapestry in the lumber room. The incident with the frog in the breadand-milk shows him to be rebellious and individual.
The aunt is a kill-joy, a spoil-sport. We are not told this directly, but can infer it from her of habit of
devising 'treats' for the children, for the sole purpose of excluding one or all of them as a
punishment. She presumably does this in order better to assert her authority. From a child's point of
view, she is an infuriating grown-up - she often doesn't listen when the children tell her things, and
changes the subject when challenged.
The narration is ordered chronologically, each episode is given with more and more emphasis. The
story is narrated in the 3rd person. The texts tonality is rather ridiculous and skeptical which creates
comic, satiric and ironical mood narration is ordered chronologically, each episode is given with
more and more emphasis. The story is narrated in the 3rd person. The narrative is revealed
exclusively through the eyes of Nicholas. This allows the reader to access the situation and the
characters in an objective manner so the characters are complex, having both positive and negative
There are some similes in the text: Bobby wont enjoy himself much, and he wont race much either;
the aunt-by-assertion (The author uses Nicholas own word choice to show that he does not accept
his aunts authority over him. This also may be a subtle criticism of Nicholas rebellious attitude.);
and some periphrases: the Evil One, the prisoner in the tank. (These devices provide authors irony
and essential clue to the character).
The author also enriches the story with a device of rhetorical question: But did the huntsman see,
what Nicholas saw, that four galloping wolves were coming in his direction through the wood?; and
hyperbole: How did she howl. The following stylistic devices contribute to the expressiveness of the
The story shows adults being too certain and not believing the kids. And it shows adults trying too
hard to impose discipline. And it shows adults telling falsehoods to try to control the children. All
of these together point out that adults err when they try to have too much control and when they do
not take their children seriously. Sometimes the adults dont see the word in the pretty part. Children
also watch the life with pure eyes. They have dreams and I think their fantasy world makes their life
more interesting. Children also want to discover something new, something that are forbidden.

Ratoi Elena, L24E

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