Научная статья на тему 'Sid Chaplin “the day of the sardine”'

Sid Chaplin “the day of the sardine” Текст научной статьи по специальности «Языкознание и литературоведение»

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Ключевые слова
biography / novels / sardine / selfishness / gang violence / crimes / friendship

Аннотация научной статьи по языкознанию и литературоведению, автор научной работы — Jalolova Kamola, Dinaliyeva Aliya

This article discusses life and works of an English writer Sid Chaplin, known with great novels about a young working class lad growing up in an industrial heartland. There is also illustrated the hard protagonist’s lifetime, his embarking on a slippery journey into adulthood, all the while searching for a moral compass in an increasingly prosperous but also uncertain world.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Sid Chaplin “the day of the sardine”»


Jalolova Kamola kamolaj alolova99@gmail .com Dinaliyeva Aliya Uzbekistan State World Languages University

Abstract: This article discusses life and works of an English writer Sid Chaplin, known with great novels about a young working class lad growing up in an industrial heartland. There is also illustrated the hard protagonist's lifetime, his embarking on a slippery journey into adulthood, all the while searching for a moral compass in an increasingly prosperous but also uncertain world.

Keywords: biography, novels, sardine, selfishness, gang violence, crimes, friendship.

What themes can we see in the novel of Sid Chaplin "The day of the sardine"

The literature of "working theme" of the 1950s and 1960s contributed to the development of progressive trends in English literature. Along with the intellectual, and allegorical novel, the so-called "working-novel" has been developing in England since the late 1950s, dedicated to specific facts and problems of modern English reality. Its heroes and its authors are usually associated with the work environment. This trend turned to the most important problems of our time, illuminated the life of the working class in a modern capitalist society. During the late 1950's and early 1960's, a now well-known bunch of novels and stories, written by one of the great representatives of working novelists, Sid Chaplin emerged concerned with the experience of the English working class.

Sid Chaplin was born on September 20, 1916 in a small town of Shildon in the north-east of England, in a simple mining family. Childhood and youth were reflected in all his subsequent literary activities. The family did not live well, since childhood, Sid saw poverty around him, hopeless work, an endless fear of unemployment. At 14, he began to work. He was an assistant to the miner, a blacksmith, but passionately wanted to study. After graduating from evening school, Chaplin began to collaborate with the newspaper "Coal", write essays, stories. He worked mainly in the genre of the so-called "work-novel". After World War II, a genre arose in British literature, which was called the "work novel". The English writer Sid Chaplin (1916-1986) is the most famous representative of this genre. In his works, Chaplin raised acute social and philosophical issues of our time. Difficult psychological and social issues are solved by the heroes of the novels "Day of the Sardine" (1961) and "The Watchers and the watched" (1962)- young people from the working environment,

contemporaries of the writer. In his acclaimed novel "The Day Of The Sardine" (1961), Sid Chaplin tells of the fate of modern English teenagers, the "X generation", as he was called in the 60's. The protagonist of the novel "The Day of the sardine" Arthur Haggerstone feels like a sardine, locked in the "tin" of standard existence. The hero during his 17-year life managed to visit both the baker's apprentice, and a loader, and an assistant to coal miner...

In "The Watchers and Watched" a place in life: the material and spiritual is looking for a young blacksmith Timothy Mason. The grotesquely allegorical work "Sam in the Morning" calls to think about the consequences of global urbanization. He also wrote novels: "My destiny cries", "Alabaster mines", "Atree with rosy apples".

Sid Chaplin's "work novel" is not just a reflection on the "destiny of man". In addition to novels, he also wrote essays. No less important are his stories. Often, the writer's stories are autobiographical in whole or in part. The first recognition as a writer was obtained in this particular genre in 1948, after many years, being already a venerable writer, he again returned to his favorite genre by releasing the collection "Uncle Bachelor and Other Stories', which included works from different years.

Sid Chaplin died on January 11, 1986 in the city of Ferihill. Married, had a son.

The lyrically painted author's speech in the "working" novel is as close as possible to the direct speech of the protagonist. First-person narration is a favorite form of "working" novelists. This is not just one of the well-known literary devices, but a natural expression of the popular worldview. The worker's voice directly sounds in the novel, everything is illuminated by his mood, his psychological state. Arthur Haggerston talks about his joyful school years, about his mother, busy with hard day work, about stepfather, an intelligent and kind worker, about his peers, whose fate is an important problem of modern society. Arthur's story is deeply emotional, sincere. The reader reveals the inner world of a modern young man from the work environment with his complex problems, everyday worries.

In terms of mood and hero, the book resembles "The Catcher in Rye". Only this teenager is English. And he also doesn't know how to behave with girls, what he expects from life, how to study and work, who is his friend and who is not. Skirmishes with the stepfather sincerely wanting to help him, the semi-criminal affairs of his half-friends, work in heavy production are gray days one after another. And at the end there is no clarification. But the book is somehow bright, although cloudy. It is good when people are born thinking, and not as one of the heroes of the Nosey- with one thought in mind. Although this is not easy for themselves.

Telling about the plot of this novel I can say that the protagonist of the novel is Arthur Haggerston, an intelligent but rebellious teenager who lives with his mother Peg and her lover Harry Parker, a former sailor working in a cannery. Arthur leaves

the school without a qualification and arranges various rough works before using the influence of his uncle George to get work on installing sewer pipes for the local council. He leads an affair with Stella, a married woman with a sailor husband, and develops a friendship with another teenager, Nosy (or Stanley) Carron. After several quarrels with a gang led by Mick Kelly, Arthur and Nosey begins a relationship with Kelly's sister, Theresa. Violence between the two gangs escalates, making Arthur restless. After a fight between gangs, Arthur is chased by the police and hides in the church hall, where the service is held. He meets pastor Mr. Johnson and Johnson's daughter, Dorothy. In a spirit of reconciliation, Arthur attends an open-air brass band concert with Harry and peg, but Peg notices Arthur's estranged father playing with a military band. Arthur's father confronts and confesses to bigamy, but agrees to a divorce, even if it means that he faces a prison sentence. Nosey claims that Kelly beat Theresa and convinces Arthur to help him get revenge. In a subsequent fight, Arthur seriously injures Kelly, and later finds out that Kelly's father warned the police. After that, Nosey and Arthur decide to spy on Nosey's brother, Crab, who was dealing with Mildred, the daughter of Charlie Nettlefold, a local scrap dealer. They see Crab leaving the dump and discover that the Crab shot the couple. After rumors of Arthur's involvement in the spread of Kelly's beatings, he was fired from his job, after which he dragged the foreman, Sprogget and Uncle George into a large pipe, forcing them to di a way out. Assuming that the police will look for him in connection with the shooting, Arthur escapes and sends the night to sleep in the countryside. He returns to Newcastle and visits Stella, who tells him that she and her husband will move another part of the country. He returns home and discovers that Kelly's father didn't contact the police and that Crab Carron was arrested for the shooting in which Mildred died, but Charlie survived to testify against the Crab. Crazed by the arrest of Crab, Nosey tells Arthur that he seduced Dorothy after he told her about Arthur's relationship with Stella. Some time after the execution of Crab, Arthur discovers that Nosey converted to Christianity and began to preach in the church of Pastor Johnson. Arthur accepts Harry's marriage to Peg and takes a job at a canner

"The Day of the Sardine' is written in the form of a kind of confession: Arthur recalls the events that happened to him mainly between the age of fifteen and seventeen. In his story, Arthur omits much as obvious: after all, he is not a writer, how can he know how to write the books? The reader himself has to finish the unsaid. A huge role in the novel is played by the subtext- the deep, hidden under the external, superficial, without which it is impossible to understand the whole truth about Arthur himself or about the people with whom life brings him.

Arthur's future stepfather- the working Harry- tells the teenager a kind of parable about the sardine- a stupid small fish floating in shoals and senselessly climbing right on the net, as well as about sardine people who do not have their own

will and allow themselves to be imposed on others, Arthur does not want to be a sardine, he decides to swim by himself.

His independent "swimming" begins, or rather, the ordeal in search of work and his place in life. The coal miner's assistant, an errand boy in a bakery, a worker on laying sewers-these "professions" Arthur changes one after another, each time giving up work not of his own free will. Own experience and the experience of adults with whom Arthur meets- harry, old George, the one-legged sergeant-convinces the young man that an honest hard worker has very bad time: no matter how hard you try, they will deceive you anyway, and they won't even count you for a person. But scammers like Uncle George and his assistant Sprogget live happily ever after. But how could it be otherwise: either you are deceiving, or they will circle you.

The dumb, puffy, arrogant Labor upstart Uncle George is a magnificent satirical generalization. The Labor Party is heterogeneous. Most ordinary members of the party and some of the leaders, such as Kazens, are honest with their duties and understand the interests of the country. It was they who held the resolution on nuclear disarmament of great Britain a conference in Scarborough in 1960, contrary to the opportunist right wing of the party, led by the recently deceased Gateskall. But for many, labor is just a means of pushing into the "feeding trough". This includes Uncle George, a genuine "Western slave of democracy".

No wonder Arthur fails again in his search for work. But maybe he will be able to achieve something at least in his personal life? But Arthur's two years of youth is the story of an endless search for something reliable, loyal, truthful, something to which on could "stick with one's heart". And he finds only dirt, venality and cruelty. There is no one to help Arthur: in life, he meets only such lonely losers as himself.

Arthur's last hope is such seemingly clear and simple human relationships as love and friendship. Too late he learns that the age, country and lifestyle he has been thrown into will not allow him to enjoy such a 'luxury'. Everything is for sale, and everything is bought, and if there are proud people who didn't want to be the subject of dirty deal, then society will vigorously deal with them-just as it had dealt with Nosey's brother Crab Carron. The law doesn't care about the fact that Crab killed, trying to regain his lost dignity, killed a woman who forced him to take money "for love". The law doesn't care at all about a person. And the Crab is routinely set to the gallows. But he is the same victim of immoral order, like Mildred, whom he killed.

Arthur for a long time believes that the Nosey is his real friend, Dorothy is a girl who can love him. But the friend turns out to be a traitor, and Dorothy Arthur's love cannot be earned. And could a girl who received religious education love a young man who maintains a connection with a woman twice his age? From my point of view, the relationship of Arthur and Stella looks dirty. But the way of life that spoils adolescents and corrupts adults, which almost forcibly brings these two lonely and

miserable people a thousand times more dirty. The need for warmth, human affection and participation- all that life denies Arthur, pushes him to Stella. And this is the main thing.

I think, "The Day of the Sardine" is a book of courageous, merciless and honest. The bitter glow of Chaplin's prose leaves no room for contemptuous, leading to the default of the abominations of life. This is one of the features of the artist Chaplin. Great writers, however, were never afraid, in the name of affirming the human in man, to speak openly about the fifth of existence. The clearest example is the work of Maxim Gorky. No wonder Chaplin writes in a letter to his Soviet friends: "Gorky has always had and is of great importance to me; I feel that I have a lot in common with him. The day I opened it was a great day. Even more memorable for me was the day when one critic, whose opinion I respect, called my name next to the Gorky".

Speaking about the writers, under whose influence he formed as an artist, Sid Chaplin calls, besides Gorky, such outstanding humanists as the English Fielding, Defoe, Dickens, and Thomas Hardy, the Americans Melville, Whitman, Faulkner and Thomas Wolfe and, finally, the Russian- Leo Tolstoy.

"The Day Of The Sardine" built as a story by a teenager Arthur, as his mental confession, containing not only facts, but also impressions and assessments. Chaplin managed to show the defenselessness of the workers' children, the inattention of bourgeois society to them and their bitter life amidst a variety of dangers. The main idea of the novel is underlined by the symbolic image of the "sardine" that appears in the dialogue between Arthur and Hurry. At first, Arthur imagines life very narrowly, in the spirit of bourgeois norms: get rich, get to know important bosses, ride in a "jaguar", have his own swimming pool. But Harry tells him that such a life is like the existence of a sardine that knows only its sandbank and swims only to where it can eat and spawn. And just at the time, the sardine gets on the net, and then in the tin can. Harry advises Arthur not to run into a sardine, but to go to sea, in the real element. "You're not the kind of guy to swim in a puddle," he tells him.-You may even eventually fly to the moon... You're not a sardine."

In conclusion I want to say, that one of the main lessons learned from 'The Day of the sardine' is the futility of waiting for any revolutionary zeal from the lower orders. The world, populated by Arthur Haggerston and his ever-excited mother, is spiritually just a few minutes away by trolley from Nottingham House, decorated by Arthur Seaton of Sillitoe: a kind of anarchist congestion where power is held by police or council. In stone contempt, and the whole street is able to converge on a landlord or a mascot. And yet, one of the Chaplin's most cunning tricks as a novelist is to show how the solidarity that his young male heroes strive for is steadily erased. Arthur is kind and trusting. And at the same weak. He reaches out to people, but people fail him: at work- scammers, religion-the comfort of slaves, "real strong ropes

for capturing souls." One must be become a "living dead", surrender unconditionally, in order, like the Nosey, to convert to faith. Arthur's loneliness is not a life program or even a posture typical of youth, but a dead end from which unsuccessfully tries to get out. How is Chaplin mocking the battered 'happy ends' of base novels! Evil is punished (Crab hanged), the sinner repented (conversion of the Nosey), virtue triumphs ( Arthur receives a well-paid permanent job).


1. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Day-Sardine-Sid-Chaplin/dp/1873226721


3. https://inpressbooks.co.uk/products/the-day-of-the-sardine

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