Clovis Sangrail


Clovis Sangrail Essay, Research Paper

Clovis Sangrail

Clovis Sangrail is a character featured in three of the Saki short stories covered this semester. The three featured short stories are ?Tobermory?, ?The Unrest-cure?, and ?The She-Wolf?. Clovis is undoubtedly one of Saki?s preferred individuals because he is a reoccurring character. Since Saki?s main intention was to mock the aristocracy, he required an antithetical character that could serve as a vehicle for Saki?s own actions to be carried out in the stories. A subtle annoyance and dislike for high-society can be sensed in ?The Unrest-cure?. Clovis hears Huddle whining about the lack of stress in his accommodating aristocratic life. Clovis dutifully tricks the unsuspecting and vulnerable Huddle in spite of his previous complaints. Saki uses Clovis to enact torment on the upper class.

In ?Tobermory?, Clovis? impatience is revealed when he utters ?rats? under his breath while everyone else settled for a quiet discord. Even when the cat did start disclosing all the gossip it had overheard, Clovis kept his composure. Although, he did quietly ?calculate how long it would take to procure a box of fancy mice through the agency of the Exchange and Mart as a species of hush-money?. However, Clovis? impatience resurfaced when he refused to stay up any longer and wait for the cat to come back. This also revealed his borderline indifference to the uncanny event of a cat talking. Finally, one of Clovis? most prevalent characteristics is unveiled at the last line of the story when he says, ?If he was trying German irregular verbs on the poor beast, he deserved all he got?. Clovis, without fail, finds humor in any situation.

In ?The Unrest-cure?, Saki uses Clovis to deal out a little distress on a well-rested aristocrat. Utilizing proficient listening and capable thinking, Clovis learns of Huddle?s ?problem? and quickly plots a way to exploit the man. This elaborate plan displays his how mischievous and cunning Clovis is. Not to mention how quick-witted he is when handles Huddle?s plea to call the police. Clovis keeps the situation under his control. Clovis is also aware of how naive the aristocrats are and exploits this gullibility to the fullest extent. He even goes so far to convince Huddle that the Bishop has ordered the massacre of every Jew in the neighborhood. And once again, Clovis finds humor at the expense of high-society when he remarks, ?I don?t suppose that they will be in the least grateful for the Unrest-cure?.

In the beginning of ?The She-Wolf?, Clovis, once again, sits quietly listening and planning his scheme to trick an aristocrat. In order to carry out this scheme, he needs the help of Lord Pabham. He remains subtle and non-emotional to avoid any disagreement to his rather unusual request. Clovis guides Leonard into the trap by posing the question, ?You?re surely not going to make coins disappear, or something primitive of the sort?? Clovis skillfully uses phrases and questions to steer people into predictable actions. He also uses phrases to lead people to the desired assumption he is trying to convey. He does this by saying, ?Of course we must accept your assurance that you didn?t turn Mrs. Hampton into a wolf, but you will agree that appearances are against you? and then interjecting, ?I don?t suppose Colonel Hampton would care to have his wife turned into a succession of fancy animals as though we were playing a round game with her?. Then, Clovis completes his prank with truly infuriating Leonard by stealing all the glory Leonard was attempting to gain by lying about his powers. Once again, Clovis finds humor at the expense of the aristocracy when he notes, ?Once does not care to speak about these strange powers, but once in a way, when one hears a lot of nonsense being talked about them, one is tempted to show what Siberian magic can in the hands of some one who really understands it?.

When observing these three examples, one can conclude that Clovis? character is used to create conflict with the aristocracy. As well as conflict, Clovis provides a conveyance for Saki to poke fun at the upper class. Clovis? quick wits and humor designate him as a veritable threat to the ?lite?s vulnerability that accompanies a pampered and superficial lifestyle.

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