i) How does Ishiguro present mood and atmosphere in the extract?
The extract opens with the line “it was windy and sunny… a few storm clouds starting to gather.” This juxtaposition of “sunny” and “storm clouds” is used by Ishiguro to create a paradox, making the weather seem confusing to the reader; in turn making the rest of the scene confusing.
Ishiguro uses the weather paradox to create mood and atmosphere through pathetic fallacy. The contradicting “sunny” and “storm clouds starting to gather” illustrate the clones’ initial happy mood in the extract, but tension and “restlessness” begins to show when Madame’s car pulls into Hailsham.
“…the whisper went around… we’d suddenly got so restless” shows that the atmosphere of the scene is one of secrecy – hence the “whispers” – and excitement – “restlessness”. This creates a mood of expectation and excitement, both with the clones and the reader. Kathy describes the events to have a “bit of a dare element to it.”
The exciting tone is continued by the clones “swarming” out of the class, to confront Madame “all around her, all at once.” The verb “swarm” creates a feeling of rushing and hurriedness; alluding to the movements of insects – which often holds negative connotations.
Ishiguro continues the hurried and rushed atmosphere with the quote “We had a hurried conference”, proving the clones were in a rush to hatch their plan.
“[Madame had her] briefcase held tightly to herself in both arms” proves that Madame is anxious about entering Hailsham. Ishiguro uses the word “tightly” to emphasise Madame’s anxiousness – she is holding onto the briefcase for self-comfort. This portrays a solemn mood on the extract, what has Madame to worry about?
The “strange thing that came over us the next instant” changes the mood of the extract completely, from one of excitement to a one of shock. Kathy stating she will “never forget” the sensation illustrates further the chilling sensation she felt.
Kathy describes Madame to...