Explain how Wodehouse is successful in creating colourful characters like Lord Emsworth and Angus in "The Custody of the Pumpkin." From Wodehouse's Blandings Castle.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wodehouse uses irony, tone, repetition, hyperbole, contrast, and benign conflict in creating Lord Emsworth and Angus so that they are as interesting and colorful as they are. irony often underpins the occupations of Lord Emsworth. For instance, he may be described as being "in conference," which is a serious occupation. The subject of the conference is then revealed as something so greatly elevated as that of sweet peas. This strategy creates irony. Irony of this sort, which is mixed with a playful narratorial tone, lends color to the character involved.

The narrator's tone, which is richly filtered through the author's voice (similar to the way Austen's narratorial tone is marked by her own voice), is light and playful--almost lilting. This tone is developed through employing literary techniques of assonance and repetition. Lord Emsworth's and Angus's names are demonstrative of assonance. Lord Emsworth's proper title is Earl of Emsworth; both parts begin with /e/, which produces assonance. Angus's name is Angus McAllister; the /a/sounds produce assonance.

At times, when describing Angus, Emsworth, in indirect narratorial dialogue, will employ repetition by repeatedly saying of Angus that he is "looking Scotch." The narrator adds hyperbole through such ironic comments as describing Emsworth as a "sensitive employer." Since we know that often Angus disturbs Emsworth's tranquility over conferences involving weighty topics such as sweet peas and pumpkins, we think of Emsworth more as a persnickety employer.

Hyperbole enters with any exaggeration or overstatement, for instance, when Emsworth is described as the "castle's owner and overlord." Contrast adds to colorful characterization, for example, the contrast of having a conference in a potting shed. A significant technique in creating colorful characters is the benign conflict between them: their conflict is over sweet peas, pumpkins and gardening technique.

scienceidjit | Student

'The Custody of the Pumpkin' is a short story by a British comic writer , P.G Woodhouse. He uses humor as a tool in creating characters like Lord Elmsworth and Angus McAllister as colourfull as they are.

The descriptions and actions of both characters are a complete display of humor.The main protagonist , Lord Elmsworth is described as ''fluffy minded and aimiable, old gentleman with a fondness for new toys''.In the beginning of the story, he is shown with a telescope along with Beech, the butler. He is unable to figure out how to use a telescope when the butler advices him to remove the cap. ''Eh Cap?Is there a cap?So there is.Take it off Beech''. Lord Elmswoth is basically portrayed as a selfish yet the stupid earl in order to create humor in the story. The butler helps him remove the cap of the telescope and then he starts viewing the cow in the meadows.One usually buys a telescope to study the stars or moon but Elmsworth here uses it to simply look at a cow. He is fascinated by this ordinary creature and describes it as ''remarkable''.

The writer has further tld us about Lord Elmsworth's obssession which is a Pumpkin. ''Although the main interest of his life was his garden'' Now this is again very unusual for some one to be obssessed with 'pumpkins'.This is also a satire against the British elite class.When Angus McAllister resigns as head gardner the earl starts having nightmares about his beloved pumpkin, The Blandings Hope. ''in the corner of the frame was a shrivelled thing, the size of a pea''. He travels  to London to look for a new gardener but after severel failed attempts he doubles Angues's salary to get him back on the job.This obssession here is gain part of hUmor.






angel786 | Student

wodehouse is one of the humorous who can use differnt techniques to create his characters at the same time. In this sory 'The Custody Of Pumpkin' wodehouse use irony,tone,repetition.hyperbole contrast and conflict in creating lord emsworth and angusso they are as interesting and colorfull as they are.

kimkhan | Student

The writer uses great techniques to make the story colourful and its characters toO.The writer uses sarcastically humourous language.Till da end of da story....atmosphere is full of action and suspense.The character's are colourful as by them the story is completed and creates a colourful story..!!

sana-s-z | Student

In P.G. Wodehouse's "The Custody of the Pumpkin" we find a recurring topic in the Wodehouse's treatment of the filial relationships between aristocratic fathers and their sons.

This tendency is to portray them as foils of each other, and as each other's arch-enemies to an extent. This is because Wodehouse usually awards the elder aristocrats the same characteristics: Absent-minded, quirky, not very bright, too much time in their hands, too much money to spend, and a lot of power and titles.

However, the younger aristocrats fare differently. They, as a reflection of their nay-doer rich parents will also share the traits of not being too bright nor creative. However, Wodehouse goes one step further by showing them as lazy drone-types who spend their lives in limbo attending social events, having fun at the men's social club, and living off the riches of their families.

This is the exact case with Lord Emsworth and his 26 year old bachelor son, Freddie, who

[..] with the passage of the years that youth had become more and more of a problem to an anxious father.  The Earl of Emsworth, like so many of Britain's
aristocracy, had but little use for the Younger Son.
And Freddie Threepwood was a particularly trying
younger son.

In true Wodehouse fashion, the description of what Freddie means to his father is quite funny. It basically says that the father has tried to marry off Freddie to an heiress in order to basically find him "something to do". Moreover, Freddie is so useless that his father actually does better without his company. He is not that son of whom every father boasts about as the future of the family. Not at all. Freddie is literally a waster and his father is the first to acknowledge it as well as the rest of the family. This is because Freddie would always get in trouble, runs debts, and causes all kinds of crazy mischief when he visits London

There seemed, in the opinion of his nearest and dearest, to be no way of coping with the boy. If he was allowed to live in London he piled up debts and got into mischief; and when hauled back home to Blandings he moped broodingly. It was possibly the fact that his demeanor at this moment was so mysteriously jaunty, his bearing so inexplicably free from the crushed misery with which
he usually mooned about the place that induced Lord
Emsworth to keep a telescopic eye on him. Some
inner voice whispered to him that Freddie was up
to no good and would bear watching.

So Freddie and his father do not have a good relationship at all. It is all because Lord Emsworth sees his son as a waste of time and money, and because Freddie really does not do much to change that opinion of him at all.

cado058 | Student



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