"The Carpet" By Poul Watts. Essay

1647 words - 7 pages

"The Carpet" is an English short story written by Poul Watts and printed in 1969. This story is very much in chronological order. The story's amount of time is about the time you take to read it. So it's very simple and accessible for everybody to read. We are introduced to a little boy, who stays anonymous throughout the story. He is confused and insecure with his own life and how he should behave. He endures with some problems. These are reflected through the carpet and divided into 3 different sections, which I will tell you more about later in the essay. This boy has challenged himself to get from the top of the stairs to the front door following the carpet without touching certain spots. On the whole this is basically what this short story is about, but of course when you read be-tween the lines something lies beneath the surface.This story takes places in a very rich environment. The family consisting of a mother and her son have at least one storey with an apparently expensive carpet leading down the stairs to the entrance. Another argument for how rich this family are is the tennis lawn we hear about. "A tremendous carpet. Bigger than the tennis lawn." (Line 17-18).The boy we hear about seems to be a perfectly normal kid, who apparently had been out playing and had got a cut. He finds this scab on his kneecap fascinating. The humans' ability to convalesce is to him an admiring thing. And he bumps into the well-known temptation, to pick the scab of the cut. The scab lands on the carpet, which is the next thing to immediately catch the boy's attention. He is quickly fascinated again and we are told in specific details how this carpet looks like. Not much later he has quickly invented a challenge, a children's game, which shows he has a good imagination. "You see, he told himself, I know how it is. The red parts of the carpet are red-hot lumps of coal. What I must do is this: I must walk all the way along it to the front door without touching them. If I touch the red I will be burnt. As a matter of fact, I will be burned up completely. And the black parts of the carpet...yes, the black parts are snakes, poisonous snakes... and if I touch one of them, I'll be bitten and I'll die before tea time." (Line 23-31). To me this kind of game is very familiar to a child. I can easily turn back time and see myself inventing games, where you ought to follow certain ways without touching certain details. For example walking on the pave-ment avoiding lines between each flagstone. Or if you just walk in a straight line keeping your bal-ance. So this invented game and his lively imagination is very a normal behaviour to me. We are also informed that this spontaneous game inventiveness is not the first time. "For someone who had only yesterday triumphantly travelled the whole length of the brick path from the stables to the summer-house without touching the cracks, this carpet thing should not be too difficult. (Line 43-46). If you read between the lines in...

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