The story is set on a train. Ten-year-old Jim Burden’s mother and father both died in the past year. He is on his way from Virginia to Nebrasks to live with his grandparents. Jim is inthe care of a slightly older boy, Jake Marpole. Jake has been Jim’s father ‘s farm hand and is now going to work for Jim’s Grandfather.
These opening pages are very important because they give thetone of the novel. The train takes them to Black Hawk, to a new life, a new land/countryside, new people and atmosphere in which the story will developp and we discover all this through Jim’s eyes.
Myanalysis will focus first on Jim’s journey to the unknown then on the Shimerda’s journey to the unknown and finally we’ll determine what we happen to learn about this new place in this extract.I. Jim’s journey to the unknown.
a) A long and difficult trip.
■ The adjectives and expressions highlight the fact that this trip is not an esay one:
They all show that this trip is long and hard.
This sentence uses stylistic device of personification. It says the engine is panting (that is breathing heavily) that means“tired”, but really what it highlights is that the people travelling were exhausted and tired. It emphasizes the hardship of the trip.
b) turning point in Jim’s life.
This journey for Jim is aturning point. The adjective “New” l.9 and l.57 shows it. New is associated with “worls”, which means that Jim is going to an unknown geographical place, It is confirmed l.84 “there was not a familiarmoutain ridge” and l.82, l.86, l.91
The landsape is really different.Then “new” is associated with “face”, thus he is going to meet new people. He has left a world he knew well to start a new life.c) Jim’s romantic view
We get to meet the narrator here, “I” l.1 and his romantic view of the world. He is an adult writing what happened to him as a chikld. L.2 “ten”, when he was ten....