Critical Review on Whose Face Do You See - Melvin Burgess

In: English and Literature

Submitted By alynchan
Words 2504
Pages 11
Mirror: Who Am I?
For our short story analysis, we have chosen Whose Face Do You See by Melvin Burgess, a British author whose focus is on children and young teen’s story. “Whose Face Do You See” tackles the dilemma and contradiction of the comatose Marianne, and those of her loving parents. In this story, mirror played a very important role in helping the main character to rediscover herself, this leads us to wonder about how we people really see in this world. Therefore in a two-way mirror, which side are you on?
The primary literary technique that is used in this story is monologue. It is the only way the story is portrayed as through the eyes of the mother and Marianne so that the story is presented with the emotions of the characters. The italicised parts of the short story represent the inner speech of Marianne while the normal text represents the mother’s point of view. This pattern continues all the way until the very last line of the story where Marianne’s speech is no longer italicized. The significance of this change will be discussed later in the next few paragraphs.
Each character is similar in their characteristics. Marianne is in a state of comatose with poor medical prognosis of ever opening her eyes again. In her despair she had developed a secondary will that denied her very existence. Marianne’s split will saw herself as a separate existence, and through it, she hopes to lessen the suffering the “other” Marianne might have to go through, if she were to die. Through her henceforth doppelganger, Marianne maintained the façade of denial until she was shown her own reflection on the mirror. Through the mirror, the revelation of herself proved to be a catalyst for her acceptance of who she is, and sparking a miracle which to see her waking up once more.
Marianne’s characteristics can be described as polarized, having a mirrored personality during…...

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