The text under analysis is written by an outstanding British novelist and a short – story writer Hector Munro. He uses irony, sarcasm and black humour often in order to deride the human vices and to show inefficiency of actions of moralistic, hypocritical persons.
The story begins with Janetta struggling to write a “thank you” letter to the Froplinsons for a calendar they gave to her and Egbert as a gift. Egbert asks Janetta if she wrote the Froplinsons a “thank you” letter yet, and she tells him no because she has been writing “thank you” letters non-stop for the past two days and she’s tired. Egbert tells her it’s important for her to write the letter and that he’ll help her: He tells her what to write and she’ll write it. As the letter writing process begins, both Janetta and Egbert are combative over what should go into the letter. Janetta thinks Egbertis too redundant in his letter writing, and Egbert thinks Janetta may come off as insensitive. During their debates Egbert gets an idia that if someone really knows that you appreciate their gift, they won’t expect a letter every time.
The theme of the text is about tradition to write thank you letters for recieved gifts. So the question of the text is to write these letters or not and in what manner should it be.
The whole story is given as a diologe between two persons. They are ocupied with writting letters. In the first part they just argue who of them is going to write last ones, then they have found a compromise and start to argue about the way and style which are to use in these letters. At all they draw a conclusion that these letters are useless.
We can`t see strongly pronounced climax in the text but we can say for sure that the main part of it is where they discuss about useless of writting thank you letters and reasons for it.
The story is narrated as a dialog with rare authors notices. The speach tonality is rather ridiculous and skeptical which creates comic, satiric and ironical mood narration in the same time with a piece of competive mood between parties, a little bit of argues. The narrative is revealed with all attitude of heroes to the proccess in which they have involved. It`s not a surprise after such a long term of writting that notorious letters.
The author employs usual vocabulary sometimes emotional cause emphasis of a moment. Also we can meet some lexic bounded with holidays.
The author uses a lot of stylistic devices in order to display us all sides of this situation.
In the very very beginning readers meet the britest uncovered absurd which attaches especial mood to all text: eleven letters to-day expressing surprise and gratitude for sundry unmerited gifts.So the attitude to the recievers and the mood of a girl is obvious from her first words.
The irony penetrates all text. Munro uses it to give us comprehention how that persons feel about their deal: I wouldn't mind writing a letter of angry recrimination or heartless satire to some suitable recipient. By the way author foces an emphasis step by step: in fact, I should rather enjoy it.
Furthermore Saki doesn`t stop just in using these devices in his representation. For example he takes underestimation in description of persons connected with presents which were sent to his hero (A William the Conqueror calendar): he didn't have three hundred and sixty-five thoughts in the whole of his life.
In the way of decorating the text Munro also employs a lot of epiphets sometimes with ironic notes: the very pretty calendar; heartfelt thanks and gratified surprise.
After reading this story, I was a little confused about the relationship of the main characters: people are giving them holiday gifts together, which may mean they are a couple, but Egbert refers to an Aunt Susan which may make them brother and sister. Very confusing. I liked how the author made writing “thank you” letters important–in the terms of what is said–to Janetta because she wanted to make sure the people she was writing to really–I use the term loosely–know how much she appreciates their gift, even though she may not like them half the time. For example, the Froplinsons sent a William the Conquer Calendar with his quotes for each day, and she disliked the calendar; however, Janetta wanted to come off as sincere as possible in.