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No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligence greater than mans and yet as mortal as his own that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water --HG WELLS The War of the Worlds Analysis is a delicate task for if we agree that the whole is likely to be greater than the sum of its parts and that we cannot always know the dancer from the dance we will want to avoid any mechanical taking apart of a work for fear of murdering to dissectOur class discussion of the literary world has suggested that we want to focus attention first on the story and that we are interested primarily in how the manifold parts contribute to the total meaning This is not however to say that the total meaning is merely a summing-up of components or that even the simplest lyric is a blandly homogeneous object the various parts of a work are not absorbed into the whole One of the most pervasive ideas in contemporary criticism is that a literary piece of any value is a complex unity that it includes within itself various tensions-contrasts oppositions and even apparent contradictions It may exhibit for example tension between strict artifice of form and naturalness of language or as in Haircut between a cool detached manner of writing and a subject matter that includes violence and passion The contrasts within Lardners story Haircut between wise innocence and the grimly comic an sardonic tragedy are further instances of tension The elements strain against each other but in doing so they help to hold the story togetherThe author is the
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