Line By Line Explanation Of Greene’s The Basement Room
There had been things between them…….. involved.
The above mentioned lines have been taken from the short story entitled “The Basement Room” written by Graham Greene. Through these lines, Graham Greene expresses the feelings of master Philip who wants to forget the sad memories of his past life and is desirous of withdrawing from the cares, the responsibilities and the relationship he enjoyed in the past.
Philip’s experiences of past life were bitter. He had passed some part of his life with Mr. and Mrs. Baines. Those were the days of agony distress and mental tension. He does not want to carry those memories now. So he is trying to forget not only the bad but also the sweet memories that he had with Mr. Baines. The story writer has compared his mind to that of a retreating army. Just as a retreating army destroys everything-cuts the wires and destroys the bridges-that might be useful to the enemy, Philip, too, is destroying his past memory no matter good or bad. He does not want to retain anything even his sweeter association with Mr. Baines. Army on retreat does not have time to think about the memories of a beautiful morning spent in the park or an ice at a Cerner House or even mixed meat for supper because the army has to give priority to the security over all other consideration. The retreating army can’t afford to feel sorry for the temporary losses. There is no time for regret. Philip is also retreating here from the memory of his past life. He is in hurry and does not want to stop. He has no regrets at all. He must withdraw immediately to his own world. The world of the grown up means treachery, deceit, malice and nasty passions. He is happy to retire into his own pure and innocent world. There are old people who are able to be remembered. They need to be carried along our memory lines. They even want to be carried along. But carrying them along the retreat line is to risk the safety and safeguard of the retreating army. Philip also doesn’t want to destroy the pleasures of his life by carrying the memories of Mr. and Mrs. Baines. They took away his childness and did not allow him any freedom to live the life of a real child.
The language is simple. The feeling of a child has got an excellent expression here. The writer is able to understand the psychology of a child.
With her untidy grey hair and her black dress………..in her breath.”
The above mentioned lines have been taken from the short story entitled “The Basement Room” written by Graham Greene. These lines carry the description of Mrs. Baines look which causes a great sense of fear in the mind of master Philip.
According to the description, Mrs. Baines look had ah undefinable sense of horror. Philip was deeply fearful of her look. Her look appeared to Philip like the look of the witches he had seen in his dream. Her hair were grey and untidy. Her black dress was buttoned to her throat and she put on a black pair of cotton gloves. Philip was utterly frightened of her look as it was like the look of his dream-witches whose breath smell nasty. Philip was so scared and fearful that he became almost speechless.
The description of the lady has been done in simple words and the writer is quite successful in expressing the emotion of fear through the child.
He was nearly home now……..a desperate Baines.
The above mentioned lines have been taken from the short story.”The Basement Room’ these lines refers to the occasion when master Philip had an unexpected chance to view the personality and character of Mr. Baines.
Once when sleep did not come to Philip, he went out and began to wander in the streets with full of life. On way return back home, he stood near the shabby outpost of Pamlico and smudged his nose against the glass pane of the window in order to look for sweets. Just then his look fell upon Mr. Baines seated between the ham and the cakes. That day the Baines he saw was an altogether different from what he had seen and known him for. Mr. Baines had a rich and inspiring personality. He had bald head bulbous eyes. His personality seemed to be transformed into a bold and bucarinering figure which had a trait of heroism. He did not appear to be a coward Baines submitting lavishly to the dictates and vagaries of his wife. This look and personality of Mr. Baines attracted Philip very much. He was greatly impressed and pleased by this vision of Mr. Baines. Such a Mr. Baines with a sense of boldness and heroism appealed to him utmost. He was extremely delighted to see in Baines a bold and adventurous personality.
The language is simple and the vision of Mr. Baines has been created to keep the reader interested bound.
A kind of embittered happiness……selfishness of age.
The above mentioned lines have been taken from the short story entitled “The Basement Room written by Graham Greene. These lines refers to the occasion when master Philip escapes into the garden without making the Baines notice about his act.
Also Read :
- Compare Hamlet with Macbeth, Othello and other Tragedies
- “The Pardoner’s Tale” is the finest tale of Chaucer
- Prologue to Canterbury Tales – (Short Ques & Ans)
- Confessional Poetry – Definition & meaning
- Line By Line Explanation Of The Poem The Eve of St. Agnes
Before escaping secretly, master Philip lined with Mr. and Mrs. Baines. They were elderly people and were always at conflict due to the dictating and domineering nature of Mrs. Baines. Mr. Baines hardly dared to cross his wife at any point. Mr. Baines was so scared of his wife that he did not dare to tell her about the visit of his niece there. Only Philip know about it. Mr. Baines told Philip not to tell about the visit of his niece there. But Master Philip yielded this secret to Mrs. Baines. Now Mrs. Baines told Philip not to tell Mr. Baines that she had come to know his secret. Here, too, Philip failed to keep the secret. He told Mr. Baines about it. Now Philip got tired of these games of the elderly people. He did not want to live with them any more. Once he got the opportunity to escape and he capitalised on it. Though Philip felt happy, but it was a bitter happiness. He was lost and confused. He felt like weeping and crying. He kept no man’s secret. The grown up people would keep their own secrets and he would keep his own end live in his own world. He would have no more ventures in the world of the elderly people. But Philip had a sense of guilt. He had disclosed the secret of Mr. Baines whom he liked the most. Mr. Baines was a gentle man. Philip thought that he should not have betrayed Mr. Baines. But what is done is done. He thought of pleasures of having come out of the world of the grown up people. He would now remain confined to his own innocent world. But one could detect the outlines of his face hardening into the deep and pleasure seeking selfishness of age.
He heard Mrs. Baines…exposed.
The above mentioned lines occur in the short story entitled “The Basement Room’ written by Graham Greene. These lines record master Philip’s sense of disgust and fear he had to come across due to her dominating behaviour..
Philip thought of a free life in the absence of his parents. But it did not happen because of the presence of Mrs. Baines who interfere with his freedom and did not let him enjoy the free life which he had thought of after his parents left. While Philip was engaged in lovely chats with Mr. Baines whom he liked very much, Mrs. Baines entered the room and scolded Philip and ordered him to go upstairs. Philip obeyed her. For Philip, the voice of Ms. Baines was like a voice he had heard in the nightmare when the price light had guttered in the saucer and the curtain moved. The image of gradually dying away price light and moving curtain are suggestive of a sense of fear and horror. Such a situation is often created in a theatrical performance when the price light on the stage is suddenly made to go off and the curtains moving in the darkness on the stage on the tune of a voice produces a great sense of terror. It is done in order to make the audience feel and realise what they are watching is actually taking place in the presence of them. Philip felt a similar situation. He heard the sharp, shrill and malicious voice of Mrs. Baines in a nightmare situation. Her voice was louder than any other people. It was frightening and naked with nothing to cover its pierceness.
The language is simple and the story writer is successful in describing Philip’s reaction with impact upon the readers.
He never opened his Meccano set again…going down.
Graham Greene’s short story entitled “The Basement Room”, these lines refers to the occasion when Mrs. Baines offers master Philip a gift of Meccano set on condition that he will not disclose the secret about her knowing of the visit of Mr. Baines niece here. Philip takes the gift and opens it because of his taste in fine art. But he felt sorry for accepting this gift. He had a feeling of being bribed. He lost his peace of mind and regarded himself as a sinister child. He felt the shock very deeply and he never opened the Meccano set again in his life. Mrs. Baines had made his life hellish. He was deeply scared of her because of her dictating nature which had created a deep sense of fear in his mind. He never build or created anything in the field of fine arts in spite of his deep interest in it. When he died he had nothing to preserve except the terror born out of the rude behaviour and terrifying voice of Mrs. Baines. He only remembered the soft and determined foot-steps of the lady as she walked away the stairs down to the basement room.
These lines are remarkable as they depicts the feelings of a child who had suffered much while living in the world of elderly people who did not care for his sentiment and always kept him under pressure.
All his seven years……important than before.
The above mentioned lines form the part of Graham Greene’s short story, The Basement Room. These lines record the feelings of joy and excitement of the seven-years old child master Philip when he comes to realise of his life free from the control of parents.
Philip’s parents had gone out on a fortnight’s holiday leaving him alone between two nurses-the one discharged and the other had not yet arrived. This was quite a new experience for Philip as he never had the opportunity of enjoying such a freedom. He was thrilled with the sensation of a new experience. He felt the shock of a sensational joy like a city which feels the shock of an earthquake at a distance. In a sense of thrill and sensation, Philip realised that he was now free to do whatever he pleased. Philip was apprehensive but he was still happier than he had ever been before. Between doubts and hopes, he felt the new life lurking. His joy knew no bound. Even trifles seemed significant. The common place objects assured a rare significance. They had grown more important than before.
These lines are remarkable as they present a deep psychological feelings of a seven years old child. The story writer has used beautiful symbols and emphatic expression to tell about the rare joy of Philip. The imagery suggests the cheerful and hilarious mood which colours the common place objects into something essentially beautiful. The language is simple and the ideas have been expressed so emphatically that the reader’s interest got trapped.
He was only anxious to forget……..he was scared.
The above mentioned lines have been taken from the short story entitled ‘The Basement Room’ written by Graham Greene. These lines record the reaction of Philip when Mrs. Baines tells him not to make it open to Mr. Baines that she has come to know about his niece visiting the place. Philip had already disclosed the secret of Mr. Baines to Mrs. Baines. Now he wanted no more secret to keep with him. In fact, he was quite fed up of this secret games of these two elderly people. He was anxious to forget all that he had been confided with. He was overwhelmed with the horror of it. He was stupefied and scared. He felt very unhappy with these old people. Life was terrible and shocking for him. He was frightened. He now wanted to taste life. He wanted to leave the people of this world as soon as possible. He wanted to live his life in his own way without any interference of any old people. He did not want to pass his days in the unwanted tare of Mrs. Baines who was so terrible and terrifying.
These lines are remarkable as they describe the feelings of Philip and present the psychology of a child’s mind.
He did not want to play…..to be cared for.
These lines have been taken from the short story entitled ‘The Basement Room’ written by Graham Greene. These lines carry the feelings and thinking of master Philip. Here, Philip tries to sum up what happened to him in the company of Mr. and Mrs. Baines. We also notice of the feeling of pain that Philip feels because of not behaving like a master even when there was opportunity for this.
One of the peculiar fancies of the children is to imitate the elderly people. When the parents of Philip had gone out on a holiday leaving Philip alone, Philip wanted to behave like the master of the home. But he could not do it because of the dictatorship of Mrs. Baines who did not allow him to feel elderly. Therefore, he hated Mrs. Baines on the other hand he liked Mr. Baines. Philip wanted to think and experience life. While thinking he suddenly grew old and felt as if he was the master of the house and was responsible for the maintenance and well being of Mr. Baines. The next thing that occurred to his mind was to take care of his dependents particularly of Mr. Baines. As the master of the house he feels responsible for the perseverance of Mr. Baines whom he imagines to be ageing servant of the family. He liked Mr. Baines because he talked to him as a man. He respected his manhood. But he has a strong sense of hatred for Mrs. Baines who snatched his opportunity of behaving like an elderly man and kept him act on the whim of her tune. Due to this strong desire of acting like the elderly master of the house that Philip did not want to play with meccano set. He was no more interested in toy- engineering.
These lines presents a psychological picture of the child Philip. These are remarkable as the story writer projects the normal children’s self into tight.