The analysis of the text «Fard» by Slepova K.E
The text under analysis «Fard» was written by Aldous Huxley, an English writer and a novelist. He was widely acknowledged as one of the prominent intellectuals of his time. She was interested in scientific literature and his short interesting stories excellent depict an intelligent social life.
The text presents a psychological type of the story with the elements of satire and social cynicism. The story is connected with mental emotional lives of the characters. According to the genre, the text presents a drama based on complicated relationship between the characters in different social position. The story is written in the third-person narration. The author is not the character of the story and he is not involved in the plot. But the story is filtered and reflected through the prism of his mind and eye. The narration is dynamic so it is interlaced with the dialogues and inner monologue of the maid Sophie. Through the dialogues the characters are better portrayed.
The tone of the story changes from the beginning to the end. Firstly, it is more dramatic and pessimistic as the reader feels social injustice in bourgeois society and sympathizes the maid, who is under control of imperious woman. But then, the atmosphere shifts to satirical tone as the author does not support the woman who complains about her tragic life.
I should say that there are double themes in this story. The first one is bourgeois society in which two ladies are in a different position and the second one is the relationship between wife and husband. These theme are connected with each other and have an equal weight because Madame equally selfishly treats people who surround her either it is her husband or her maid. I'll focus on the first theme. The problem raised by the author is egoism from well-to-do women towards those who serve them. Sometimes people who think that they are the best forget about tenderness and live in their own world of fantasy. The idea of the text is that prosperous people should not behave themselves so indifferent and egoistic towards served people and everyone should be treated equally.
The title cannot let us guess the meaning until the final part. It reflects the point of the text and gives the ground for thoughts. The fard is something like a mask that helps Madame to get rid of poor and ugly person. It depicts her human nature and all that she wants is only richness and prosperity. The setting of the story is important and has a relationship both a plot and the characters. At the time of bourgeois society influences on people's ideology, position and economic interests. So those people who have good social status try to bring people under control in order to improve their well-being. The language is connotative as the author wants us both see and feel the setting of the story. It makes the readers be closer to the actions.
The story opens with the introduction of an imperious woman who argues with her husband about money. All their quarrels are heard by Sophie, an old exhausted maid. She gets used to serve Madame from morning till night. She is so tired that the one thing she dreams is deep sleep. But Madame does not sympathizes her because she thinks only herself. Madame sees her tiredness and, instead of supporting her, she masks her face with fard.
The composition of the story is not a traditional one so there is an open plot structure. Compositionally the text can be distinguished into three logical parts. The first part can be named as Sophie’s thoughts. It includes inner monologue of Sophie during the quarreling. The general atmosphere is rather emotional and it proves climax at the beginning of the story. It is the most powerful and significant part of the story as it intensifies the tension between Madame and her husband Monsieur. The falling actions come when the quarrel is over.
The second part is the complaints of Madame. There is an exposition. From this part we get acquainted with the main characters, Madame and her maid Sophie. The atmosphere shifts to sarcastic tone. The reader understands what she is a sort of women and the author satirizes her tragic being.
The last part is the Madame’s selfishness. We see how she decides to get rid of poor and ugly people by using a mask. The atmosphere is strange and weird. She does not want to help or deal with them. There is no denouement because we do not see the mutually acceptable solution. So the author gives a chance reader to end it on their own way.
The main characters of the story are Madame and her maid Sophie. The minor character is husband Monsieur. Sophie is a protagonist and Madame is an antagonist. There is an external conflict between them. Madame does not respect her tireless efforts and Sophie suffers from it. Also there is an internal conflict inside the soul of Sophie as she wants to get free time for relax but in the way Madame treats he it is impossible.
The main characters are portrayed in a direct method of characterization: we know the age and can imagine the appearance through their description. Sophie is a miserable, hard-working old maid who serves imperious woman from morning till night. We can indicate repetition of the word «a hard day» to depict a bad condition of Sophie, for instance, «It had been hard day; so hard yesterday, so had the day before. Every day was a hard day, and she was not so young a she had been.. Every day had been a hard day ever since she could remember.». The author also uses repetition of the word «slowly» to describe her tiredness «Slowly, slowly she was walking along the dusty road with the sack over her shoulder». Madame is a cruel and egoist figure. Madame treats her like an ugly and an old person who does not need any sympathy. She says Sophie looked like one of those beggar women one sees on a cold morning». The author uses simile to describe her attitude towards served people. She thinks only about herself and complains that she is a tragic woman in her life. The author satirizes her by using oxymoron « was admiring her own splendid tragic figure», «Behind the beautiful tragedian». When she argues with husband, the author uses onomatoepia, for instance, « Bow, wow, wow-wow-wow, wow – a dog barking rather slowly ». Through this device the author indirect compares his voice with animal so we can feel the tension between them. There are a lot of epithets which describe the relationships between wife and husband «harsh, deep, angry shout», «muted and inarticulate, the voices», « loud shrillness» , «harsh, dangerous laugh» , «heavy footsteps», «aching fatigue». Madame is quite emotional and sensual. The author says «her cheeks were flushed», « the voiced floated down the corridor, from the other end of the flat», «her blue eyes shone with an usual brilliance». This is how through these metaphorical personifications the author discloses her nature. She is scandalized by the way her husband treats her. There are many exclamatory sentences to depict the indignation of Madame « And what beautiful verses Hegesippe writes about you! What passion, what fire!», «What a death’s head the old woman looked nowadays!». The author uses aposiopesis «These men… What an embarassment!» to create an internal conflict inside Madame.
Most people think that person deserves to be treated with respect. The author raises the problem of social inequality and that people should so egoistic towards others. I totally agree with him and I think that people are equal anyway. We live in a modern society where any person has the rights to be treated well. This is extremely cruel to treat people with less fortunate like a servant or even an animal.
Others believe that any society must treats people according to their status and financial position. They think that people have to serve well-to-do men or women. Every rich and prosperous person influences on poor people because he can buy any conveniences for his life and can allow himself a luxury life than those who cannot.
As for me, I strongly believe that rich people should not treat others like dirt. One of my classmates treats less rich people like dirt. He was born in a rich family and believes that only rich people are able to get along with him. There is no doubt that he was alone and no one wanted to be his friend. Time changes and I am convinced that a really successful and rich person has another value then those who have only money. The most successful individual has a family, trust and respect from people. He can be poor outside but very rich inside. As a matter of fact, such people have more chances to become better.
Summing up, I want to say that this story is quite interesting. I like psychology, and I believe that Aldous Huxley is a very good psychologist. His short interesting story excellent depicts a realistic story and tells us about the relationship between social inequality. That is why "Fard" is especially interesting for me. The main characters are different from each other, have their own life credo and the system of value. The story under discussion focuses on the problems that exist in a family in which the members of it quarrel all the time because of money. I believe that we can meet such people in our real life. They are highlighted like miserable men who are worried only their own prosperity. If you feel you are dating an egotistic individual, work towards dealing with the egotism in the relationship. It is also important to communicate your needs to your partner, and make sure you are taking care of yourself. That is why I think that they are true to life.