Literary Analysis: The Wainscoting War

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Having neighbours can be a joy but also a living nightmare. Either you have a mutual understanding of one another or you disagree on the smallest things. Hence living in an apartment building can be difficult and lead to conflicts. ‘‘The Wainscoting War’’ is a short story by Helen Ellis that follows the conflict between the two neighbours Angela and Gale. Angela has just moved into the apartment building and writes to Gail to suggest that they change the design of their common hallway. However Gail declines due to the fact that the hallway has sentimental value to her because her late friend, Mrs. Preston, designed it. A conflict emerges as a result, and even though they both start off with making small pranks on each other it quickly progresses to more serious acts such as murder. The language reflects the personalities of the characters. From the start, it is clear that Angela uses informal language in contrast to Gail. However this is to show the difference between Gail and Angela. For example, Angela uses contractions as seen with ‘’it’s’’, ‘’I’ve’’ and ‘’I’ll’’ and these are typically used in spoken language. Meanwhile Gail rarely uses contractions, which makes her language more academic. Considering that they are using emails to communicate with one another, it is more appropriate to use written language and this shows that Gail is aware of how she should communicate with Angela while Angela is more laid-back. Another aspect in which they also differ is in terms of
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