Style of language

The language used by James Lasdun in the short story “It’s Beginning to Hurt” is fairly simple and straightforward. The language is mainly neutral in style, constructed using standard vocabulary and grammar: “For the rest of the afternoon, he worked on new rental listings. His eyes were burning when he stopped.” (p. 125, ll. 15-16)

There are, however, a few instances when the author uses informal language. For example, when Mr Bryar notices the salmon does not fit in the fridge, he says “Bugger” (p. 125, l. 11), which is a vulgar slang term. Towards the end of the story, slang is also introduced when Mrs Bryar insults her husband: “She turned abruptly away, then stared back at him a moment. ‘You’re a fool.’ She said. ‘You’re a complete bloody fool.’ ” (p. 125, ll. 38-39), suggesting their unhappy marriage.

Dialogue is briefly introduced in the story, adding to the characterization. For example, the dialogue between Mr Bryar and his secretary shows his hesitancy and immediately suggests that he is lyin...

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