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Maisie Dobbs illustrates the life of a young girl

Maisie Dobbs depicts the story of a teenage girl who becomes a house girl at the age of thirteen after her mother dies. The heroine, Maisie Dobbs, has a talent for reading, which is discovered by her boss, Lady Rowan Compton, who enrolls her in Maurice Blanche's class. Blanche is eager to educate Dobbs about psychology and medicine, but he later works as a nurse in World War One, caring for war victims. Dobbs has honed her research skills, which she acquired from Blanche through her apprenticeship, and she now tries to solve the mysteries around the retreat house. Billy Beale, her office’s caretaker, and a veteran eases her entry into the home to allow her to obtain the information she needs. Jacqueline Winspear seeks to educate the public on the physical, emotional and mental stress associated with wars. The author is inspired by her grandfather’s turmoil following a war.

Plot Analysis

Important characters within the novel are Dobbs, Lady Compton, and Baele. Dobbs has an innate desire to learn, and this opens up a new world, one that she later discovers will add to her mysteries. Without Lady Compton support, Dobbs would never have learned about psychology and investigative science from her friend Blanche. Over time, Dobbs realizes that the retreat home is mysterious, a fact that is compounded by the knowledge that Lady Compton’s son has surrendered his wealth to the home and lives there. Baele is also a critical character in the movie because he helps Dobbs to unravel nature of the retreat home and reveal the secrets that have long been hidden there.

Conflict Analysis

Dobbs is confronted with an assignment of establishing marital infidelity for Christopher Davenham’s wife which leads her to the veteran home (Winspear 14). The main conflict arises when Dobbs has to deal with her professionalism and her memories which continue to haunt her, ten years after serving after a nurse in the world war (Winspear 17). Dobbs later discovers a grave with only one name inscribed on the tombstone which she then finds out that the death occurred in the veteran home and again has to deal with the demons in that place.

Analyzing the Characters

Dobbs seems to be a multi-talented lady, a fact that is revealed from a young age. Her passion for books exposes her to a new world of psychology and investigations which would later help her unravel the secrets of her past. Lady Compton acts as a link between Dobbs’ past by enabling her to access basic and even higher education.

Analyzing the Language

The author has used a narrative fist language which makes the novel a worthy read. However, the story begins in a typical home setting with suspense building up as the book progresses. There is also use of imagery which makes the reader resonate with the happenings around the World War 1 and the devastating effects that it had on the participant. It is evident that the participants in the war were disfigured and the reader is left to imagine the dealings during that time.

Analyzing the Point of View

Jacqueline Winspear writes in the first point of view and begins by narrating Dobbs background and how she rose to become one of the respected investigators of the time. Jacqueline Winspear notes that Dobbs desire for books was like hunger that one would direct towards food (87).

Analyzing Setting

The novel is set in the 19th century in England, at a time when the world war one erupted (Winspear 10). The book reveals the disturbing details of the war that ended up incapacitating people mentally and physically. Love is also eminent in the novel although it is evident that Dobbs keeps on resisting the advances passed by Inspector Richard Stratton and instead falls in love with Simon lynch who was a doctor during the war.

Analyzing Tone

The novelist uses a sad tone to indicate the struggle that Dobbs have to go through trying to unravel her past and dealing with the scary memories of the war and the need to evaluate how to end wars for the sake of her grandfather.

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Work Cited

Winspear, Jacqueline. Maisie Dobbs: A Novel. New York: Soho, 2003.

August 18, 2021

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