The edge, by Dick Francis Essay
The edge, by Dick Francis
Unlike with the setting, dialogue makes the theme or value come across easier because it can be said straight out rather than the viewer have to analyse the setting to find out. Although the theme or value can be shown easier, there is more to the dialogue than just the words. The way it is spoken can get it across stronger because it may have the ability to make the viewer sit up and listen and realise what the character is saying straight away. For example, in the scene where Peter is confronted by the man who killed his friend and former partner, the man says “you wont kill me.
Blokes like you need a reason” and Peter replies very strongly saying “I’ve got a reason…. and his name is Oscar Stone!! ” It comes across to the viewers very strongly that Peter is committed to not only the revenge of his friend, but also to ridding corruption from society. These three techniques work well together to set the viewers mind and thoughts to show them that the characters in the text are committed to the themes or values that are trying to be brought across. They convince the viewers that the text has meaning, so the viewers are more willing to believe and support the text.
Journal B – Novel Analysis: The Edge, Dick Francis Dick Francis’ The Edge explores the life of Torquil Kelsey, an undercover operative for a Jockey Club in England. Torquil is assigned to be “the invisible needle in the haystack”. He wonders around the racecourses like any other racegoer, but in doing so, listens in and explores all business that goes on inside the courses. His main objective is to rid racing of one of its notorious villains, the successful but “dodgy” Julius Apollo Filmer. For months the Jockey Club have been trying to find some dirt, any dirt, on Filmer and have so far been unsuccessful.
Torquil later takes a train ride in which Filmer will also be on. Torquil knows all too well that Filmer will be up to something. Filmer is later found guilty of paying someone to sabotage the train ride and Filmer himself of wilfully attempting to kill Daffodil Quentin’s horse. Torquil Kelsey: Torquil, or “Tor” as some characters call him as a nickname, is an undercover operative for an English Jockey Club. He has been assigned to go from course to course and find out any illegal deals going on. He has an inquisitive nature. Being an undercover operative, he has the ability to be in a crowd without being noticed.
He is very cluey. He can guess that certain things are going to happen before they do. He’s your typical “good guy”. He’s not the mean cop who beats people up to get information. He has the good guy charm with women. Julius Apollo Filmer: Filmer is the major racehorse owner around the area that the Jockey Club operates in. They have tried to get him warned off the course in the past but have never caught him. He is smart and smug. He never does his tasks evil deeds himself; he will always have a hired goon to do his work. He always has some evil deed planed out in his mind and does whatever he can do complete it.
He associates with “dodgy” people, such as Daffodil Quentin. Themes The main themes of this novel are based around the triumph of good versus evil. It’s really your typical police story. Police get a suspicion that the bad guy is going to do something evil, police try catch the bad guy doing it, police do a lot of investigating, bad guy eventually gets caught. Beliefs One major belief that I got out of this text was that the world should be rid of corruption. The aim of Torquil Kelsey is to rid the racing world of Julius Apollo Filmer and inturn ridding the racing world of the corruption he brings.
Oral Task Based On Novel I believe the target audience of this novel is probably adults. Although I enjoyed reading it myself, I think the majority of the readers will be older. Also, the novel, like most other Dick Francis novels, has an element to do with horseracing, so this may also appeal to anyone interested in horseracing. If this interview were real, it would probably be broadcast on an AM radio station such as 720, which the station itself is aimed at the older part of society. The tape of this interview will be included with the rest of this assignment. Transcript
Presenter: I’m privileged to have a great author in the studio with me now. He has written such books as Smokescreen, Risk and High Stakes just to name a few. He is in Australia to promote his new novel The Edge. Good Afternoon, Dick Francis. Francis: Thankyou. It’s great to be here. Presenter: So, your new novel The Edge. It has just been released here. How do you expect it will sell? Francis: Well I certainly hope it will sell very well. I have worked long and hard perfecting it. Presenter: I recently read this novel in preparation for this interview. I thought it to be a very good read.
Me being 36, is that the age of audience you were intending this novel to be aimed at? Francis: Yes, that’s about what I was thinking. Its definitely too complex for anyone below maybe 16, but middle school onwards was the target. It’s really a matter of choice though. No matter what age you are, if you’re just not into crime novels, which this novel is, then you just wont like it. Presenter: Yes. Now on that, would you like to fill our listeners in on the plot of this novel? Francis: Certainly. The Edge is about a young man named Torquil Kelsey working as an undercover operative for an English Jockey Club.
He is required to be the “invisible needle in the haystack” if you like. He must roam around various racecourses in England and investigate any odd activities that take place and any odd characters to go with it. His main target is a villain named Julius Apollo Filmer. Filmer is a leader of corruption amongst the racing world. He is a bit like a King of Evil. He never completes his dirty deeds himself, but gets hired goons to complete them for him. He is in suspicion of a number of offences, so it is Torquils’ task to nail Filmer. He gets his best opportunity on a racegoers train around Canada, which Filmer is attending.
I’ll stop there as to not ruin the story for anyone by giving too many details. Presenter: That’s probably a good idea. You were formally a jockey before you turned to writing. Are any of the characters in the novel based on people you’ve come across in your time as a jockey? Francis: There is always a certain amount of truth involved in some parts of every novel, but nothing is an exact copy of the truth. Presenter: Tell us about our two main characters. Torquil the hero and Julius the villain. Francis: Well, Torquil has been brought up by his Aunt Viv, an avid racegoer.
He has always been associated with horses and horse racing since he was a wee boy, so his knowledge of horses has helped him with is job around the racetracks. He is very inquisitive, very cluey, is able to spot things that most people would simply turn a blind eye to. He is a charmer also. Very good with the ladies. Julius is your typical villain. Seems fine on the outside, but you know that on the inside, there’s evil brewing and his mind is devising a plan. He is an evil mastermind. Has the ability to devise the plans, but will never execute them himself.
He must keep a clean look with the public otherwise his plans will be given away, so the hired goon is his way of going about getting that done. Presenter: I found it interesting to note that you always made the story continuos. You would rarely jump from scene to scene, instead you always describe exactly where your characters where going. I recall a part where Torquil must go from one end of the train to the other, and you describe exactly where he is walking, instead of just jumping straight to where he was heading to with a new paragraph. Was this deliberate? Francis: Yes, I believe that you must be very descriptive when writing a novel.
It’s not like a film where you can show viewers visually, so you must describe the exact surrounding very thoroughly. I find that if you jump straight to it, you can sometimes confuse readers and miss important details of the surroundings. Presenter: Well, thankyou Dick. I hope all goes well with the release of the novel and I’ll look forward to reading more of your future novels. Francis: Thankyou Journal C I received a very insightful view into the industry of undercover policing after studying both the texts I chose. They showed a set of values that I had never really dwelled on before.
The triumph of good over evil is something I am regularly exposed to, but ridding the world of corruption and the reasons for doing so had never really been considered. I realised from these texts that corruption in any industry can ruin the industry completely for society if untreated. The racing industry for instance, I was shown in The Edge that if the villain Julius Apollo Filmer had gone on with his evil deeds forever without anyone ever even trying to stop him, he would have eventually taken control of that industry and injected so much corruption into it that the public would eventually lose out.
For example, if he had taken control of every horse in some way, he would be able to dictate races and the public would lose in some way or another. These texts both support my views and in some ways support them more than I do. A majority of the people in society would not support corruption of any form and I am no different, but it never really meant much to me. I support the views of the texts but I have never realised the effects corruption can have until I studied these texts. Like the texts, I believe corruption should be stopped at all costs.
I would hate to be in a society where things can happen like they did in Stingers. If the chief of a police unit was corrupt and letting crime go and even going to the extent of helping the crimes be committed, then I would be horrified because I put my trust in that unit only to find out it is supporting the things it is supposed to be protecting me from. I support the view of good triumphing over evil. To drop this view down to an example at my level, it would have to be bullying in schools.
It always brings a smile to my face when I see a bully getting what he deserves in return for his wicked deeds he has performed on an innocent student. Another example of this would be in a game of football. When an opponent tries to pull off an illegal move on someone but cant fool the umpire, it is always rewarding to see the player who was doing the right thing get rewarded the free kick. In The Edge, it was rewarding when I read at the end that Julius Apollo Filmer is caught and convicted of his crimes after the determination of Torquil Kelsey to find that last ounce of information that would put Filmer away.
So I very much support all values identified in these texts. The episode of Stingers that I refer to in my studies is not a complete story. It just focuses on part of an ongoing story that has continued from previous episodes, so the villains have not yet been caught. I enjoyed studying these texts, because they challenged and changed my views. Although they didn’t have a different view to what I already had, they allowed me to explore the views with more depth than I had before.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 11 September 2017
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