The text under interpretation is called “From Doctor in the House” by Richard Gordon.
First of all I’d like to start with some words about the author. As I’ve learned Richard Gordon is an English writer of the 20th century. He is most famous for his “Doctor” series, where he describes different things concerning with the medicine. It is necessary to mention that such things are close to him because he took up the medicine. His literary contribution is great because his “Doctor” series are very popular. They are even screened.
As for me I have already heard about this author but haven’t read his works before/ And after reading this text I have become interested with his works.
So this text is about terrible feelings and fears which overtake the medical students during the final examination within the rules of educational system which seems to be convenient for the students for the first sight. So here the question arises why do the students have such inner state? And here I can guess about the problem to be the imperfection of the educational system.
The main characters of the text are the narrator called Richard Gordon who is rather serious and responsible young man, his friend Grymsdyke who is light-minded unlike Richard. The friends are medical students/ There are also minor characters, they are the examiners? Secretary of the Committee and his porters.
From the first person narration, which makes the text more emotional and subjunctive we lear the final examination for medical students to be displeasing event to be faced sooner or later. Though the authorities considered the exam to be a check of man’s knowledge conducted in fair and convenient way for both sides (students and examiners) the examination was a struggle for students where the were to be professionals.
Such bright epithets as unpleasant inevitability, fighting spirit, similar examinations are like death, like a prize-fighter, metaphor straight contest prove the exams to be the worst and the most awful things which a student could have. But why was such students’ attitude? To answer this question helps the plenty of special of literary words as authorities, investigation, well- established, representative and the graphic means as Committee which demonstrates unequal position of students and examiners, which of course caused such fear and such student’s attitude to the exams. So I can guess that if the situation was like that the educational system really had some faults.
Further on the narrator told one of the obstacles which he had run into – written papers. So three hours were allowed for the papers. The invigilator and his porters were present at the exam to watch the students and to prevent cheating. After bell ringing papers were feared away from the students by the porters. Richard left the examining room exhausted because he had a real trial. But his friend Grymsdyke was absolutely calm, because he was sure the papers not to be read anyway. He told the system of checking the papers. So the old don chucked the papers down the staircase. The ones that stuck on the top flight were given firsts, most of them ended up on the landing and got seconds, thirds went to the lower and any reaching the ground floor were failed.
Such stylistic devices as the metaphors poor victims, eight-round fight, the similar like the policemen at the Old Bailey, the epithet looked dispassionately emphasize helpless students’ state during the exam and give impression that the students had no one right.
With the help of specially literary words f.e. invigilator, raised platform, uniformed, system the power of authorities in comparison with the students becomes evident. And to my mind the legend of checking of the works shows unenviable students’ inner state. They were absolutely sure in injustice of educational system beforehand.
Later Richard gives the information about the second trial, the oral examination also called viva. It was even worse than the written papers. No one false answer could be admitted. Otherwise the student lost his nerve and the end of everything would be, crash would be inevitable.
There are such stylistic devices such as the metaphor judgment day, the paraphrases god, the similar like imminent thunderstorm which again reinforce students helplessness and examiner’s greatness. Giving a name god to an examiner, the narrator vested power in him to determine students’ fate.
Such information makes me feel creepy all over. Еhe final examination begins to look really like death for me.
Then Richard Gordon told that he was shown to a tiny viva-waiting room furnished with hard chairs, wooden table and windows that wouldn’t open, where other students were. They illustrated types commonly seen in this waiting room. One was indifferent called Nonchalant, lolling back on the legs of his chair. Next to him was Frankly Worried, jumping irritatingly every time the door opened. There was also Crammer, fondling the pages of his battered book, and Old Stager who seemed to fail exam so often and look upon viva as a simple thing. There was also a woman. Gordon stressed that attractive women were under disadvantage because male examiners adopted towards them an attitude of underserved sternness.
Here such words as hard chairs, windows that wouldn’t open create dark depressing atmosphere. The bright similar like the condemned cell shows hopelessness of student’s state. And the periphrases candidates, occupant and the names of types of students deprive the students of individuality like in prison to my mind. And I think that it is clear that the system of education considered to be convenient for students and examiners hardly had something to maintain equal conditions for them. But vice versa it had everything to make the situation more depressing and tense.
Then the narrator told about his own examination. He was asked the question which he knew very well. But the examiner stopped him and asked another question that Richard didn’t know properly, that is why he stumbled through his answer. But the exam was over and unbearable black time came, time for recovery. Gordon was like a beaten dog after his exam and of course he was anxious about the results. His friend tried to assure him that no one failed the exam.
Here such similar as like a retired prize-fighter, like having a severe accident, the epithet black days prove that the exam was long, hard relentless struggle for Richard. Such phrases as said impatiently, suddenly cut me short illustrate the examiners’ behavior during the exam. It’s clear to my mind that it was unrespectable and scornful. The examiners didn’t care about the students’ inner state, I think.
The irony little shreds of success collected together and weaved themselves into a triumphal garland suggested such idea as whether the students had a right for hope generally.
I think the fault of the defect of educational system is obvious now. The narrator and other students were afraid of such examiners’ behavior and their attitude to them exactly.
Further on Richard described may be the hardest obstacle during the final examination. It was waiting for results. So the examination building was crowded. Everyone was waiting for the appearance of the Secretary of the Committee who would announce the results. He would go with thick book containing the results. He would say only pass or fail. Successful men would go to receive congratulations, but failures would be depressed. So the Secretary came. Everything stood still for Gordon unless his results were come out. He passed.
Here are a lot of stylistic devices. So the similar like the supporters of a home team who had just been beaten in a cup tie demonstrates nervy state of the students. Such epithets as frightening unexpected silence, scraping feet give the shudders. The similar like an unexploded bomb shows tense atmosphere and proves that the student’s nerves were all on edge. The gradation the world stood still, the traffic stopped, the plants ceased growing men were paralyzed, the clouds hung in the air. The winds dropped, the tides disappeared, the sun halted in the sky emphasizes Gordon’s nervous state. He was on edge like a condemned to death. One word guilty or not and he would live or would die.
There is a bright illustration of students feelings during the final examination. I think that such feelings that Richard and other students had will not be wished on someone’s worst enemy. No one thought about students state. And it again proves imperfection of educational system.