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English custody of the pumpkin

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Angus McAllister is a true example of a hot tempered, honest, righteous Scotsman. Far from being aristocratic McAllister had values that he was not willing to compromise. At the very beginning of the story the reader is introduced to Angus McAllister, head gardener to the ninth earl of Emsworth. As described by Woodhouse, while he was on the garden premises Angus McAllister “bent with dour Scottish determination to pluck a slug from its reverie”. This emphasizes to the reader Angus McAllister’s stubbornness, and fastidiousness.

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Later, when Lord Emsworth demanded that he send his cousin away, McAllister retorted with typical Scottish defiance. As mentioned by Woodhouse, “ a look of bewilderment clouded such of mister McAllister’s features as were not concealed behind his beard and eyebrows.” McAllister’s bewilderment as the reader later discovers boils down to downright anger and defiance, as he preferred to quit his job rather than send his cousin away. His stubbornness is even more emphasized at his refusal to go back to work for lord Emsworth.

However, there is a redeeming factor at the end of the story. McAllister does not hesitate to come to the rescue of his master. And finally, when lord Emsworth pleads with him to return back to work McAllister finally agrees to do so. This shows the reader that Angus McAllister, despite his stubborn determination also had a forgiving heart.


What are the Literary devices used/ How does P.G. woodhouse use humor in the custody if the pumpkin?/ How does woodhouse use language in the custody of the pumpkin? Explain how the atmosphere is created.

P.G. woodhouse uses humor to elucidate the frivolities of the aristocratic British class societies. In the opening paragraph the reader is invited to an amiable British country setting. “..the morning sunshine descended like an amber shower bath on Blanding’s castle…” through the use of similes woodhouse creates an image of serenity in the country side. Later, as the story unfolds it is well punctuated with humor to emphasize the eccentricity of the upper middle class. Lord Emsworth’s inability to operate a simple telescope brings out this fact and heralds the idea that there is more frivolity to his character. With the help of diction and imagery Woodhouse creates an impressive setting. The tone and mood throughout the story is humorous.

Reading Woodhouse’s ‘the custody of the pumpkin’, leaves the reader tickled and emphasizes aristocracy and its eccentricities. The reader is also made aware of the lower classes, which is characterized by their stoicism, honesty and hardworking attitude.

what is the importance of the title in the custody of the pumpkin?

The title of this story suggests irony mixed with an undeniable humor. The story unfolds with the usual layered complications, associated with British aristocracy and the lower classes. Lord Emsworth is the perfect example of an eccentric British aristocrat. As described by woodhouse when he waited for his son Freddie, “he prowled like an elderly leopard waiting for feeding time…” the word custody implies caring for ones children. However, in the extract above woodhouse describes Emsworth to be a leopard waiting for his prey i.e. Freddie. Throughout the story lord Emsworth has little consideration for his son. His paramount concern however revolves around his priced pumpkin and his hope that Freddie will marry into a rich family so that he would not be dependent on Emsworth. The setting throughout the story is punctuated with imagery. Through this imagery the reader is made to understand the situation and underlying humor. As P.G. Woodhouse describes the gardener McAllister, a typical Scotsman, “… with eyebrows that would have fitted a bigger forehead” here the gardener is a man of stoic attitude, firm convictions, and great honesty. His appearance is formidable and character is tough.

The gardener is an important part of lord Emsworth’s life, perhaps even more important than his own son. This is possibly because lord Emsworth was passionate about his pumpkin as the title suggests and was determined to win Shrewsbury fair. At the end of the story the reader feels relieved that all has ended well. The gardener is back to take care of the pumpkin and Freddie has finally married well.

How does the author describe class difference in the custody of the pumpkin?

Woodhouse treats the delicate subject of class differences in a humorous manner, but gets his point across the reader very well. The story begins with lord Emsworth an eccentric aristocrat trying in vain to operate a telescope. He regarded his son Freddie with a “somewhat jaundiced eye”. Emsworth’s negative feeling towards Freddie builds into aggression when he realized that Freddie might marry a girl from a lower social status.

The whole idea of class difference is well emphasized in this story through lord Emsworth’s reaction and subsequent aggression towards Freddie. As described by Woodhouse, Lord Emsworth watch his son approach “ with a sour and a hostile eye”. The irrationality of Lord Emsworth’s actions is both amusing and incredulous. The stubborn aristocrat even fires his head gardener to show his disproval of the alliance and the gardeners cousin.

Later, however complications are rhymed out as Lord Emsworth realizes that Freddie’s wife comes from the wealthy family. Finally Lord Emsworth persuades his gardener to come back to work. The reader is left feeling gratified that all creases have been expertly ironed out. The humor and the irony contribute to making the reader aware of the irrationality of class differences, especially the opinions of the aristocracy

Cite this English custody of the pumpkin

English custody of the pumpkin. (2016, Aug 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/english-custody-of-the-pumpkin/

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