Answer the following:  A) The narrator of "Our Society at Cranford" by Elizabeth Gaskell is (a) second person limited (b) first person limited (c) third person limited (d) third person...

Answer the following: 

A) The narrator of "Our Society at Cranford" by Elizabeth Gaskell is (a) second person limited (b) first person limited (c) third person limited (d) third person omniscient 

B) The tone of Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach" is (a) happy (b) secretive (c) dark and bleak (d) excited 

C) In "The Windhover," by Gerard Manley Hopkins, the line "/dom of daylights' dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon..." has (a) alliteration (b) onomatopoeia (c) anaphora (d) personification 

D) a portmanteau word is (a) a word made up of two words (b) a suitcase (c) a synonym for alliteration (d) personification 

Expert Answers
kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The student's question specifies the text of "Our Society at Cranford" by Elizabeth Gaskell. For purposes of discussion, it will be presumed that the assigned text was Chapter 1 of Gaskell's classic of 19th Century literature, Cranford, which is titled "Our Society." Cranford had its origins in a series of short stories written incrementally that were subsequently formed into a single novel. That opening chapter, "Our Society," as the title suggests, provides a descriptive narrative of the fictional town of Cranford in Gaskell's native England. One need not read too far into this chapter to identify the form of narrative the author employed in her story. On the second page of Chapter 1, Gaskell's narrator, Mary Smith, states:

"I can testify to a magnificent family red silk umbrella, under which a gentle little spinster, left alone of many brothers and sisters, used to patter to church on rainy days. Have you any red silk umbrellas in London? We had a tradition of the first that had ever been seen in Cranford. . ."

The use of the words "I" and "We" clearly suggest that the author of the novel in question employed first-person limited narration. In general, first-person limited narration is used by authors wishing to tell a story form the narrator's perspective. The "limited" element suggests that the narrator is able only to provide observations and suggestions, but cannot, logically, see inside the minds of the other characters, thereby "limiting" the first-person perspective. Mary Smith is not a god or a seer capable of reading minds, therefore the form of narration used is first-person limited.

The second question posed by the student regards the tone of Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach."  Unlike Gaskell's opening chapter, in which a perfunctory reading of the opening passages suffices to identify the type of narration employed, Arnold's poem requires a thorough reading in order to identify the tone. And, that tone is decidedly dark and melancholy, evident in the author's use of phrases and words such as "eternal note of sadness," "Of human misery," "the melancholy, long, withdrawing roar," and ""And we are here as on a a darkling plain."  One could be forgiven for rushing to judgment with regard to Arnold's tone. "Dover Beach" begins with a somewhat calming demeanor, noting that "The sea is calm tonight," and that "the moon lies fair Upon the straights," and so on. By the end of the first stanza, however, the tone has taken an unambiguous turn from serenity to sadness. The answer to the question, then, is "C," "dark and bleak." Spend enough time in England, and one cannot help but appreciate the poem's tone.

If one were forced to categorize the full text of Gerard Manley Hopkin's "The Windhover," it would present a more challenging case than with Arnold's poem. The reason for the difficulty of answering would be that it does not include option (e) All of the above. Alliteration, onomatopoeia, anaphora and personification can all be said to exist in "The Windhover." As the student specifies only one line, however, the task is rendered considerably more simple. That line reads as follows: "dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon . . ." That's it; neither the text immediately before nor that which follows are included in the student's question. For that reason, the answer is (a) alliteration. The phrase clearly fits within the definition of "alliteration" because of its repetitive use of the letter "d" for each word in that line except for "of" and "Falcon." As the definition of "alliteration" is precisely that--the repeated use of the same consonant at the beginning of adjacent or closely-connected words--alliteration is clearly the proper answer.

The student's final question, 'what is the definition of "portmanteau",' can be answered as (a) "a word made up of two words."