The Sense Of Imagery In John Banville's The Sea

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Written Commentary: The Sea In this excerpt from John Banville’s The Sea, the setting is established in the protagonist’s childhood holiday home. The author’s diction and syntax help create the imagery used to build up the protagonist’s resentful feelings recalling his family experiences and memories involving the holidays they spent in that house. The theme of family relations is also greatly emphasized through his use of such imagery and descriptions of what the protagonist’s parents used to do, and how he felt back then, and still feels nowadays, about it. Right from the start, the author opens the fragment delicately; he changes his syntax half way through the sentence to emphasize the true meaning what he’s trying to deliver. In the…show more content…
The sense of smell play a huge role in people’s memories, a greater one than sight or sound, since it’s something a person’s brain won’t change or distort depending on the situation. The narrator describes “the beveled boards that on sunny days smelled of paint and pine-sap”, all from a child’s perspective and an adult’s fogged memory. Many people associate certain scents with specific people, or places, or times in their childhoods. As such, the author chooses to use the sense of smell to create a new sense of melancholy. In addition, it also gives the story a more ‘real’ feeling, and makes the whole sensory experience and description something the reader might be able to relate with. Furthermore, the narrator describes the house with words such as “slopped underside” or “unintentionally elegant”. It gives this story a more poetic tone, even though it is written in prose, and allows the reader to use the vivid imagery to picture the whole scene in their heads. Such choice in the author’s diction show the intention of the words, how they are not accidental or unintended, and how the author wants the reader to get the message that he’s trying to

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