3 Steps for Analysing Quotations

1. Break the sentence down – look at the meaning and connotations of individual words, techniques and phrases, as well as the whole sentence.

2. Think about what the whole sentence suggests.

3. Comment on the context of the quotation.

EXAMPLE:

1. Break the sentence down – look at the meaning and connotations of individual words, techniques and phrases, as well as the whole sentence.
e.g. “…about three o’clock of a black winter morning…”

Stevenson’s use of pathetic fallacy in the word “black” not only has connotations of darkness and death, but infers that the morning itself is in a “black” mood, with a foul temper.

2. Think about what the whole sentence suggests

e.g. “…about three o’clock of a black winter morning…”

The quotation as a whole sets a sombre tone even at this early stage of the novel.

3. Comment on the context of the quotation

e.g. “…about three o’clock of a black winter morning…”

Through his use of pathetic fallacy, Stevenson effectively foreshadows the mystery and mood still to come. It also hints at the darker aspects of human nature that we are soon to encounter through the character of Hyde, and Enfield’s tale of his violent trampling of the little girl.

Putting it all together:

“…about three o’clock of a black winter morning…”
Stevenson’s use of pathetic fallacy in the word “black” not only has strong connotations of darkness and death, but infers that the morning itself is in a “black” mood, with a foul temper. The quotation as a whole successfully sets a sombre tone even at this early stage of the novel. Through his use of pathetic fallacy, Stevenson effectively foreshadows the mystery and mood still to come. It also hints at the darker aspects of human nature that we are soon to encounter through the character of Hyde, and Enfield’s tale of his violent trampling of the little girl.

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