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Chocolat Essay

846 words - 3 pages

ChocolatIf we were all to rebel against what we've always known to be accepted, if we were to completely ignore the teachings of our elders and do the things we've been taught to be "evil" and "sinister", what would happen? This situation is one which occurs in a small and tranquil French town in the extract from Chocolat. Throughout the extract there are a variety of juxtapositions, polarizations, and much contrast building the subject. Joanne Harris creates a compelling story, but not without exaggerated or overstated situations.Through reading the extract and analyzing each significant line of literature, we are able to understand the narrator and the young girl's character to a more advanced degree. In the extract, we first encounter Vianne with her daughter Anouk as they brave the harsh wind and settle into the new village. "We came on the wind of the carnival." The quoted piece of literature displays the sly exotic wind, a rather unusual one for February. To some extent, the wind presents the characters of Vianne and Anouk as they are independent and wild, the same as the wind that brought in the carnival. Reminiscent of the carnival, the narrator and her daughter are very bright and lively which is ironic as they settled the grey village during the time of the carnival. This piece of text also shows polarization; Light vs. Dark and Lively vs. Dull, as well as contrast between the town's people and the carnival. The polarization of Lively vs. Dull can be seen in the extract through the mentioning of fanciful tales. "...A dragon's head on a shield, Rapunzel in a woolen wig, a mermaid with a Cellophane tail, a gingerbread house all icing and gilded cardboard, a witch in the doorway...." Seeing that most of us have matured with the impression that fairy tales are magic- blissful, bright and fantastic, as we read this passage we can see how Vianne try's to keep magic alive in Anouk as well as in herself. Their itinerant from town to town represents this burning flame; the magic she is striving to keep alive. Not only does Vianne attempt to keep magic flourishing in herself and Anouk, she also aids the parishioners. The extract is an enchanting brew of confections and humanity. Vianne, a shaman-like woman rides the North wind casting her spell of kindness to those in need; she visits town after town seeking battles with those who would take advantage, and attempt to lord over other poor souls. Carrying on a tradition of lifting the spirits of the downtrodden, with...

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