Vivid Imagery Essay

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Vivid imagery is well-described imagery. For example, I could write, "My mother's house was very large and she had the best of everything in it." Or I could write, "My mother's old Victorian home makes me feel cold at the end of every nerve. She kept the finest vases, furniture, and drapes. The living room looked like a seance parlor with thick dark purple drapes that looked like rotten grapes, five vases meticulately placed on her elaborately carved and designed end tables and coffee table. That coffee table was made from some kind of wood that was supposed to make it look like old mahogany--stained with tea and cigar burns. That damn thing was fire-proof and as ugly as it was with it's green and gold trimming that was supposed to look like lace. . . . Well, you get the idea. Vivid, rich, detailed with as much precision and perceptivity that a writer can imagine. Recommendations for an excellent descriptive short story would be Mistaken Charity by Mary E. Wilkins. Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard Find is also good, but gruesome. And Zora Neal Hurston's "Sweat" is very descriptive and less gruesome than O'Connor's short story. James Baldwin's Sonny Blues is more than rich with vivid imagery; it's flowing with vivid pathos (feelings and emotions) expressed sharp enough to look like real life at the overwhelming beginning of an end that never had a chance without hope, and deep enough at the end of the story as to give a reader reason to weep with a smile. Take an emotion for example, such as this: "It was a special kind of ice. It kept melting, sending trickles of ice water all up and down my veins" (Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin page 619 in Living Literature John C. Brereton,

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