The two extracts reflect love in different ways for many different reasons, one major reason being their difference in eras. Whilst ‘A Sentimental Journey’ was written in 1768, and thus belongs to the post-modernist genre, ‘The Magic Toyshop’ was written in 1967, and would thus be influential to post-modernist and modernist writers alike (as we indeed know Laurence Sterne was). Devices used by the authors to portray the love within include form, structure and language and their differences and similarities with these aspects serve to emphasise the different types of love evident.
The form and structure of both pieces differs in many places. The first person narrative of ‘A Sentimental Journey’ true to its name, in many respects, walks the reader through, a journey with the writer and their feelings of forbidden passion. Stream of consciousness as a form of story-telling is evident throughout, with fragmented punctuation as tension builds – “I was going to accept it – but I durst not – I have nothing, my dear…” and as the dialogue is recounted. These feelings of doubt and worry shown in the broken clauses within sentences are reflective of the time, social etiquette forbid sexual relations prior to marriage and relationships with significant class difference between a maid and a clergyman. Yorick’s ordeal then, it appears, is to resist this fille de chambre who he has become infatuated with, and battle imagery reflects this “I found I had the battle to fight over again”.Order now
‘The Magic Toyshop’ short sentences are similar to the fragmented punctuation of ‘A Sentimental Journey’ in the way they are used to build tension. “She could not move or speak. She waited in an agony of apprehension.” And the third person narrative from Melanie’s perspective helps us get a better comprehension of her thoughts and feelings. The love in topic in the two extracts, of course, is very different. Finn in many ways feels both casual and unrequited lust rather than love towards Melanie in ‘The Magic Toyshop’; it is harder to tell if the love is indeed returned towards Yorick in ‘A Sentimental Journey’. The first person narrative does leave the reader feeling biased to Yorick’s own point of view with no real idea what the fille de chambre was feeling.
The setting for both extracts is also telling of the type of love each character experiences. ‘The Temptation’ set in ‘Paris’ in ‘A Sentimental Journey’ builds the reader up to a highly passionate example of love, or lust, as the case may be. The pathetic fallacy of the dark, damp atmosphere in ‘The Magic Toyshop’ “It was growing dark… through the mist, the blur of the city…” and the simile “like a sooty thumbprint” is also a hint of what is to come. The kiss Melanie experiences, her first kiss, does not live up to her expectations. However even Melanie herself admits from a distance it could appear romantic, if she in the moment thought this was not the case. “She wished someone was watching them to appreciate them, or that herself was watching them, Finn kissing this black haired young girl.”
Language is another factor used to show love in the extracts. ‘The Magic Toyshop’s language, because it is from Melanie’s point of view – and is incredibly superficial. In this situation, where we expect the stress to be placed on her thoughts and feelings (it is, after all, her first kiss) she chooses to focus on the way she and Finn must look. The change in her language to her feelings only begins to change when Finn “inserted his tongue between her lips” and she is immediately begins to beat him away. “…Convulsed with horror”. This emphasis on Melanie’s superficiality may not only be due to her superficial personality – but from the detached feel we get the impression of from the recount of this event. “Remotely”, “anybody” both these words imply the detached emotions Melanie is feeling in this situation. Perhaps this, then, is the explanation of the absence of her emotions in the extract. This contrasts with the highly significant mention of emotions throughout ‘A Sentimental Journey’, but we of course expect this due to the first person narrative seen. “I kept arguing with myself against it”, “I never bore expectation more quietly” This accentuation of the effect the fille de chambre is having on Yorick serves to truly show the love Yorick is feeling. The lack of description concerning the fille de chambre is contrary to Carter’s stress on looks. The only words used to describe the fille de chambre’s beauty are “fair”. Instead, Yorick’s description shows the importance of the love felt in the moment, with no real hindsight (and interior monologue).
Imagery is a device used to also show love in both extracts. In ‘A Sentimental Journey’ a paragraph is devoted purely to the comparison of Yorick’s infatuation to nature, and a metaphor to question if the passion he is feeling is a sin. “Nature has so wove her web of kindness, that some threads of love and desire are entangled with the piece, must the whole web be rent in drawing them out?” He then goes on to reference a “trial” which shows that Yorick feels this whole encounter has been a temptation, and it is his test to resist. With the direct address of “Ye” to the audience, it almost makes the reader feel as if they are the jury at his trial, and it is thus their duty to lay the final judgement. Questioning as a means to show the interior battles of the character is also seen in ‘The Magic Toyshop’ “What was the need?” this is used to bring the readers way of thinking round to Melanie’s, as she goes on to describe the uncomfortableness at the state of affairs.
Carter also uses animal references when describing Finn as he appears to Melanie. “Cawing like a crow”, “wild beasts mouth”, and concluding with “like Pan in a wood”, Pan of course being the God of sheep. This linking of Finn with animalistic characteristics paints a bigger picture of the general unromantic chain of events that have lead to Melanie’s kiss, and show Finn in a predatory role, preying on Melanie and making her appear a victim, rather than a willing participant, in this display of affection.
Both pieces peak similarly. After correspondingly building tension throughout as passion heightens in ‘A Sentimental Journey’ and as Melanie dreads what she knows is to come in ‘A Magic Toyshop’ both end in a casual manner, almost disappointing the reader. After Yorick so desperately yearns for the fille de chambre in ‘A Sentimental Journey’, he does not submit to his temptation, and instead ends their encounter in a polite and acceptable way. “I pressed my lips to her cheek, and taking her by the hand again, led her safe to the gate of the hotel.” Equally so in ‘A Magic Toyshop’ after all the struggling and commotion, Finn simply “prised off his bubble-gum, examined it for impurities and put it back in his mouth.” The casual manner in both extracts serves to undermine the ‘love’ we see in the extracts. With such casual endings, could the emotions felt in the pieces really be classed as love at all?