The author uses oxymoron throughout the story in order to display the utter confusion of the protagonist (the boy) in some situations. For example, right after the boy’s hand is “eaten” by the saw, he is seen to give out a “rueful laugh”. This is interesting because the word laugh is usually associated with happiness and joy, yet the word rueful is related to sorrow and regret. This in turn shows the boy’s confusion as it could be said that he was laughing out of confusion and rueful out of sorrow and regret of working with such a dangerous piece of equipment.


The confusion of the boy shows that he is probably not of a very mature age, and further captures tragedy because such a devastating injury has happened to such a small child who has not even lived a quarter of his life. Repetition is used in the story, especially later on to display the boy’s confusion and also his desperation after he is injured. This is seen most obviously after he is injured when he says “Don’t let him cut my hand off – the doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him sister! ” From this quote we can see that the phrase “don’t let him” is repeated two times.

This shows the boy’s confusion, as the reality is that the saw has already cut off his hand, yet he is strangely unaware, showing his confusion. It also displays the fact that he’s desperate as he repeats this two times, trying to emphasize it to his sister. This captures tragedy as it captures sympathy for the boy and also shows how weak, helpless, confused and lost he is after being injured so heavily. The author also uses some short sentences in order to generate tension and also display the suspense and tragedy. For example, after the boy dies there is one short sentence.

“No one believed. ” This short sentence is very useful at conveying tragedy because it’s very blunt, direct and to the point – the boy has died because of this terrible injury at such a young age. It puts the horrible reality in front of the readers. Last of all, I think that another important aspect of the story that conveys tragedy is the reaction of the boy’s family members. In the story, the boy is forced to work due to financial instability within the family, and he only encounters this terrible tragedy because he is working with such dangerous equipment at such a young age.

However, at the end of the story we find that the family is actually quite heartless, as when he dies they were only slightly surprised for one moment, and then, “since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs”. I think that this also conveys this idea of tragedy very well, simply because it shows that the one death of this young boy means almost nothing to the community around him. Nothing special is done to remember or commemorate him; he is treated like a mere money machine that is alive solely to generate income for the family.

This is proven when the author writes, “no more to build on there”. This pulls at the reader’s heartstrings and makes the reader feel upmost sympathy for the poor boy. In conclusion, the author manages to convey the sense of tragedy in the story buy using a serious of literary techniques in conjunction that often augment the tragedy that is already there due to the death of the young child. All these literary techniques add to the savageness of the machine, the suspense or the reality of the story.

The author also utilizes the community around the boy and his social situation to make the readers feel sorry for the boy through tragedy. I felt that this story was terribly tragic as the boy in the story was a young boy that had not lived life to the fullest, yet had already been injured due to his terrible economic situation. It was a very intense and interesting read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Poets section.