by Dr Gillian Sheehan
and John McGivering)
|notes on the text|
These have certain points of similarity. In each case incipient mental disturbance is averted by a simple physical expedient.J M S Tompkins (page 112, passim) discusses the “hidden narratives” in this and other stories of Kipling’s :
...It is clear that guilt stems from obsessive perfectionism and morbid vanity. He is subjected to just such an operation as those he performed, is told that the diagnosis was a mistake, and, being obliged to relive the experience, sees it from another perspective. (pp. 90-91)
…. One must thread the maze to reach the heart of the matter…..There are always sufficient directions but they do not spring to the eye, they must be looked and listened for …Dr Tompkins finds other examples in the later works of Jane Austen. See also her suggestion (page 107) that: 'this story suffers from over-revision', and that the woman who messed up the samples is the “Star” of “The Penalty”, the verse that accompanies this story.