Close Reading essay for The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
We are writing a close reading essay on the above novel The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford, only from this passage are we to write from.
Here is the passage…
"You ask how it feels to be a deceived husband. Just Heavens, I do not know. It feels just nothing at all. It is not Hell, certainly it is not necessarily Heaven. So I suppose it is the intermediate stage. What do they call it? Limbo. No, I feel nothing at all about that. They are dead; they have gone before their Judge who, I hope, will open to them the springs of His compassion. It is not my business to think about it. It is simply my business to say, as Leonora’s people say: "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Do mine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. In memoria aeterna erit…."1 But what were they? The just? The unjust? God knows! I think that the pair of them were only poor wretches, creeping over this earth in the shadow of an eternal wrath. It is very terrible….
It is almost too terrible, the picture of that judgement, as it appears to me sometimes, at nights. It is probably the suggestion of some picture that I have seen somewhere. But upon an immense plain, suspended in mid-air, I seem to see three figures, two of them clasped close in an intense embrace, and one intolerably solitary. It is in black and white, my picture of that judgement, an etching, perhaps; only I cannot tell an etching from a photographic reproduction. And the immense plain is the hand of God, stretching out for miles and miles, with great spaces above it and below it. And they are in the sight of God, and it is Florence that is alone…."
Your essay should discuss how the passage works on its own. That is, what literary elements and techniques does it use? How does it develop its effects and its emotional tone? You should also discuss any interesting examples of diction and figurative language the author uses in the passage and explain how these examples contribute to the overall effect of the passage.
Your essay should also explain how the passage is important to the novel as a whole. How does the author use the passage and its literary elements to reveal important conflicts or themes in the novel as a whole? How does it help develop character, plot, or symbolism? Does the passage reveal something about central conflict of the novel, about the natural or social forces that are part of the conflict, or about the novel’s attitude towards a particular topic or idea? How does it relate to other important scenes in the novel?