Themes - Conflict

‘Hieroglyphics’ also contains a degree of conflict.

Mary’s relationship with Mr Kelly is one, it seems, of mutual resentment.

On Mary’s side, Mr Kelly seems to repulse her, and she explicitly states that she hated him.

Language is used to show the differences between Mr Kelly and Mary:

  • Mary’s voice is in Scots (and is perhaps representative of her working class roots)
  • Mr Kelly’s standard English contrasts with this (and perhaps also shows his middle class background

This difference effectively reflects the conflicting backgrounds and attitudes of the two characters.

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