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Monday, June 17, 2013
Matilda by Hilaire Belloc
Matilda by Hilaire Belloc
Belloc's poem Matilda relates the tragic end of a foolish young woman, supposed
to be 'A notorious liar' although the poem does not bear the form or pattern of
a tragedy the poet has carefully woven it in humorous manner, though it
contains a tragic episode. Even the sad situations are presented evoking humour
with an elegant background. The girl's foolish and stubborn nature, resulting
in her own disaster, subjugating her own weakness lying to its extremes brings
to her an extremely tragic end burnt to death. Matilda being a born liar never
even attempted at being truthful. She achieved self satisfaction by lying and
seeing her lies proving successful. Her lies were so frightening that one
looked at her with widened eyes, believing her dreadful episodes.
The whole poem revolves round the
character of Matilda. Curiosity, tension and a strain of laughter evoke
throughout the poem. Like the peasant boy in the local story, who shouted
"wolf, wolf! to frighten the others deriving self satisfaction and ending
up in his own death, with the actual wolf coming up on the scene and gulping
down the boy. In similar manner Matilda with her gullible lies persuading the
others to believe her lies brings about her own destruction. There's some kind
of elasticity in Matilda's lies, dangerous as they are made people stare at her
in suspicious manner. Matilda's anxiety to tell lies and derive pleasure
appears to be some kind of mental mobility.
Matilda's lying reaching its climax when
she called the London's Noble Fire Brigade. Bellac has used the epithet
"noble' subjecting the Fire Brigade to ridicule and highlighting Matilda's
ability to lie. Matilda seems to derive pleasure by lying to display her
ingenious nature, her walk to the telephone is suggestive of her peculiar
mannerism, "And finding she was left alone went tip toe to the telephone.
And summoned the immediate aid of London's Noble Fire Brigade."
The epithet Noble highlights the entire
operation carried out by the Fire Brigade, and the arrival of the Fire Brigade
collecting their members from various places and the 'Frenzied crowd' gazing at
the moving Fire Brigade.There's the most dreadful episode the house actually
getting succumbed to fire and nobody coming to help Matilda, Belloc has
expressed in dramatic manner the plight of Matilda when the actual fire broke
There's irony tragic and pathetic.
"For everytime she shouted 'Fire'
They only answered Little Liar.'
Hilaire Belloc has used a simple diction
style with the rhyming pattern to suit the musical rhythm running throughout
the poem, conveying to the reader a moral and gentle humour reigning in
exemplary style highlighting Bernard show's wise words "The greater
punishment aliar, would get is that nobody believes him/her."