Enoch’s Two Letters – by Alan Sillitoe | Analysis

"Enoch's two letters" is a fictitious text written by Alan Sillitoe, who was born in 1928 and passed away in 2010. Among other things is he know for his poetry and his two awards, the Hawthornden Prize and the Author's Club First Novel Award.

The novel takes place at some point from 1950 to 1970. We know that as there are several time indicators. One of the most interesting is the gas shilling meter, which both Enoch and his grandmother use. The gas meter where you pay every time you need gas was found in British homes from 1930 to around 1970 and then, of course, there is the television. All of this tells us the story is from around the 50's or 60's, which also explains why Enoch is able to catch a bus so easily. We can tell he is a quite young boy because of the fact that he cannot make himself go upstairs and that he still attends school. He is both brave and mature though. Deciding to cross a city isn't first at hand when you're lonely and scared.

If we compare "Enoch's two letters" two Alan Sillitoe's own life, there are several parallels. Enoch lives with his two parents in a somewhat big city that isn't London. The family struggles to keep it all together and eventually breaks down. They are not one of the wealthiest families and Enoch tries to keep warm for as long as possible. Alan Sillitoe's childhood was a lot like this. He couldn't make it through the school system and his father, Christopher Sillitoe, shifted between low-income jobs. When he was 14, he quit school and started working at a factory, later he joined the Royal Air Force and was posted in Malaya.

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