Structure

...

Beginning

The story begins in medias res, in the middle of events. The narrator, who we later learn is named Nick, describes his experience as his grandfather checks his teeth. This subtly creates a tension point in the story, as Nick’s words suggest that the experience is unpleasant.

Nick does not immediately reveal where they are and instead hints at being in a dentist’s surgery by mentioning the tiltable chair and an anatomical skeleton model.

Nick also provides a short backstory on himself, which reveals that he is a…

...

Middle

In the rising action, the three characters have lunch in the dining room. Nick tells his grandfather that he recently learned the meaning of the word “somnambulist”, and his grandfather seems pleased. However, he believes that science is better than words.

Nick’s father also tries to tell him about Nick’s talent for writing stories and about one story in particular. This creates a backstory about Nick’ interests, which is further developed later as Nick also shares that he might want to become a veterinarian. Nick’s grandfather approves of his interest in becoming a veterinarian but not of his interest in writing: “ ‘Stories are stories’, Grandpa says. ‘It is time for him to think about having a profession.’ ”. This creates a tension point, as it is suggested that Nick’s father is upset for being cut off but also a foreshadowing element for Nick’s grandfather’s decision to force Nick to choose all sciences and get top grades.

Nick’s father and grandfather tease each other about their professions. However, the story suggests that Nick’s grandfather is not just joking but that he disapproves of Nick’s father trying to be an actor. This creates a tension point in …

...

Ending

In the falling action, Nick reflects on his grandfather’s request and on how fathers seem to want their sons to do what they want them to. He thinks about how his father also does it, although he is not as insistent as his grandfather. This also contributes to the backstory of their relationship.

Nick puts his headphones on and listens to the only tape he cannot listen to out loud – a rap tape, which his father believes is abrasive. This creates a subtle backstory which emphasises the resemblance between…

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of PrimeStudyGuides.com, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in