Number Three

1008 words 5 pages
Number Three

The postmodern society is constantly changing. All the old things such as buildings are replaced with the impeccable modern ones. Just like the former English Teacher, Miss Coral who is caught between a rock and a hard place. Today people have to be perfect and everything we are occupied with must be done flawlessly. The author Anna Metcalfe emphasizes exactly this issue in the short story “Number Three”, where Miss Coral is trapped in a culture clash. She´s replaced with a so called “Real English Teacher” – the contemporary ideal person, Mr. James.

Miss Coral is replaced with Mr. James who is supposed to be a better teacher than her. Her boss says he has done her a favour by making her an international hostess, in
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In this way she becomes the centre of revelation and the reader sees the events and the other characters, Mr. James and the director from her point of view, “So I´ve been chatting with my friends,” (…) “There’re all English teachers (…) is seems they´re all getting a couple of thousand more than me a month”. (…) “this is not a private language facility, attended only be the rich children of the city´s elite” (line 66-75). Once again the quotation shows the big cultural difference. He has only been there a week and he is already complaining over his pay. He has not even proven his worth yet.
Anna Metcalfe uses images where she appeals to our senses. Some tactile images have been used to drag the reader into the protagonist thought’s, “The driver winds in and out of the traffic with the front window down and bursts of cool air flow over her shoulder as they cross the Jialing”, (line 26-27) This image contributes to create an atmosphere that seems uncomfortable and gloomy. Thus the reader can almost feel the cool air breeze. Anna Metcalfe is also making use of visual images to create an intense atmosphere, “Smog and fresh dust linger, hovering over warehouses, slums and disused factories as they leave the inner city and approach the airport”, (line 28-29). On the basis of this imagery the reader gets dragged into the story and it becomes easier to imagine how the smog and dust is around.



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