By The Waters Of Babylon Figurative Language Analysis

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James Adagbon English 2/2B Mrs. Berry September, 11, 2013 Stephen Vincent Benet’s short story “By the Waters of Babylon” expresses the speaker’s attitude towards the place of the gods using many literary techniques. Two of the techniques that spoke to me were the mood and figurative language used in the story. Mood is one element in the narrative structure of a piece of literature. To put in simpler form mood is the atmosphere or predominant emotion in a literary work. Figurative language refers to words, and groups of words, that exaggerate or alter the usual meanings of the component words. One way the speaker convey mood is that he gives us a sense of foreboding. A sense of foreboding is created through the combination of feelings like powerlessness or terror. An example is “it gripped my raft with its hands.” The speaker feels useless because he has no control over the river and its…show more content…
Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature says that figurative language can be classified in five categories: resemblance or relationship, emphasis or understatement, figures of sound, verbal games, and errors. An example of figurative language used is “Never have I been so much alone - I try to think of my knowledge, but it was a squirrel’s heap of winter nuts.” The author uses a metaphor comparing the speaker’s knowledge to a squirrels winter nuts. The metaphor displays the speaker uncertainty because it shows how the speaker cant access the knowledge he has due to the situation. Another example of the author using a figurative language is “alone upon the great river, the servant of the gods”. The use of personification by identifying the river as a servant of the gods makes the river appear dominant. The river causes the speaker to seem insignificant as the river leads him to the city. The use of figurative language gave us an image of the speaker’s thoughts and feelings throughout the
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