Larry's Party

799 Words4 Pages
“Larry’s Party” takes the form of a biography of a normal Canadian man who, at this stage is becoming well known for maze building. Discuss the imagery and characterisation in this extract and consider how the reader might respond. In this extract of “Larry’s Party”, Carol Shields paints an image of a very intriguing and extraordinary man whose interest in mazes is becoming obsessive. The passage concentrates on the contrasts between the abnormal life Larry lives and his struggles in admitting how “into” it he really is in the conformist society he lives in. Shields explores his mind and creates a very interesting and skilful characterisation of a very strange man whose obsession is spiralling out of control. Larry is introduced to the reader as a man whose interest in mazes is described as “a passion, an obsession.” The blunt and sharp nature of this sentence enforces the nature of his interest. However, this does not mean he is willing to confide or admit this with others. The fact that he finds the word obsession “too boxy and broad for the round cavity of his mouth” highlights how awkward he feels around the topic and how unwilling he is to call it an obsession even though deep down he probably knows that it is. This is because he knows that it will not be regarded as normal in the highly conformist society he finds himself in. His passion is referred to as a “ripe crystal, growing in his brain” emphasising not just the importance of mazes in his life but also the way this obsession has taken a while to reach its current form. The meticulous interest Larry takes in his mazes is stressed by the Latin names he knows for each type of hedge that make up his intricate mazes. Not only does he know these names but he loves the roll of the words in his mouth”. Also, “he loves himself for being a man capable of remembering these rare words” and this relates to
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