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How is Wodehouse successful in creating colourfulness out of the character descriptions...

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ibtiko | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted May 27, 2011 at 8:07 PM via web

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How is Wodehouse successful in creating colourfulness out of the character descriptions in ''The Custody of the Pumpkin" in Blandings Castle?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:40 AM (Answer #4)

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One way Wodehouse is successful in creating colorful characters is that he chooses colorful situations, imagery and similes to associate them with when he describes them and what they do. The two principle characters introduced in such colorful ways in "The Custody of the Pumpkin" are the Hon. Freddie Threepwood Emsworth and Lord Emsworth, Freddie's father.

To initially describe Lord Emsworth, Wodehouse has Emsworth--in a colorful situation--bungle the operation of his astronomical telescope. Beach, his invaluable manservant and butler, rescues Emsworth by suggesting that if perhaps he might remove the cap covering the end of the telescope, Emsworth might see more than a black void. Emsworth agreeably requests that Beach to do so while requesting that Beach place the hat he has been holding upon his Lordship's head, an act Beach is kindly disposed to perform. This colorful situation adds a great deal of color to Emsworth's character.

'Perhaps if I were to remove the cap at the extremity of the instrument, ,'lord, more satisfactory results might be obtained.'

Later, Emsworth is compared in a simile to an "elderly prowling leopard," a colorful simile especially if you note that elderly leopards are probably missing a good number of teeth and are far less robust than youthful ones.

Freddie is associated with a good deal of colorful imagery. His initial introduction is amidst the imagery of a sunny summer garden swimming in "amber" color from the sun's golden light that falls on "rolling parks" and "gardens." This heavenly amber light falls also upon Freddie. The imagery gives a good deal of color (more than just amber) to Freddie's character.

The morning sunshine descended like an amber shower-bath on Blandings Castle, lighting up with a heartening glow its ivied walls, its rolling parks, its gardens ... [and] the white flannels of the Hon. Freddie Threepwood, Lord Emsworth's second son, hurrying across the water-meadows.

A later image has Freddie "sunken in a roseate trance" of love, following a "warm embrace," in a sunny mood in which he "gambolled up," rather like a "beaming sheep," to encounter his father who is a bit put out by the witnessed "warm embrace."

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