Free «Close Reading and Analysis of an Author’s Writing Styles» Essay Sample

Literature is one of the living and applicable part of academic studies in various matriculation institutions. It employs wide varieties of styles that require critical and detailed analyses for proper understanding of a text or prose. Styles have greater importance in literary books and articles. They enhance themes in books and articles. Besides, they make a story more interesting encouraging more reading. The successive paragraphs pinpoint various styles used in the excerpt given.

             Metaphor: It is one of the figurative language styles in literature. It involves direct comparison of an object with a character in the novel. It does not require the use of comparison terms such as ‘like’ and ‘as’. The author of the book, Ayn Rand, has widely employed this style in the composition of his book. The description of Kira Argounova on his entry into Petrograd with her boxcar, ‘With graceful indifference of a traveler…’ is metaphorical. It compares the character with an ocean liner, which is luxurious. The author further states that Rand is entering the station wearing an expectant warrior look. This shows that she has a greater expectation of something, probably of a chance or opportunity to travel with the long awaited train.

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Simile: This is another type of figurative language which involves the use of words; ‘like’ and ‘as…as…’ “Littered floor of the waiting room smelt like their bodies.” Here, the bodies of these desperate travelers are being compared to the littered floor where they stayed waiting for the train. Another simile is at the end of the passage, “like barnacles, they ….” It shows how the passengers hurried and struggled without any order to enter the full train. The author uses this style to show the hectic and undesirable situations these travelers were at.

Symbolism: This is the use of symbols or alternative identities to represent something else within a prose. Gray has been used severally in the excerpt. The colour represents evil nature of Russian people during revolutionary eras. The glass panes were gray implying no light was allowed into the waiting room. Lack of light in the waiting room symbolizes lack of good life virtues among the societal members. Gray colour is normally dull hence represents no happiness, but a long time of suffering. The author has also used red colour to bring in the idea of terrible sufferings undergone by the people in the Russian society. “…the Red rules was…” implies ruthless rule that was bridling people in the society. The bundles, which carried the clothings and beddings, were red in colour. This implies another suffering altogether.  

Allegory: From the extract, it is clear that the only protagonist is Kira. She represents people who are ready and willing to bring change to the deteriorating Russian society. Moreover, the whole passage represents a society where justice is a foreign term, so to speak. The person in charge of the train takes off before the passengers settle. Many of them lose their luggage and children. This, in real sense, is a representation of a government that is not concerned with its people’s welfare. Such a government makes certain abrupt decisions that are mostly egocentric, not considering the effects the decisions may have on the normal citizens. The style boosts the reader’s thinking ability.

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Personification: This refers to the act of giving non-human things human attributes. An example is a case where a lion has the ability to talk and control other animals in the jungle. In the extract, the phrase, “slowly, wearily the train…” shows that the train has been given human attributes of weariness. The author tries to bring in the idea of the train being very old and consequently informs the readers literally that the society does not show any important progress.

Irony: It is a style in which the reader expects something to happen in a right way, but it turns out to be the opposite of his or her expectation. The phrase, “Under the clock…,” shows that the railway has a clock, which, any mind can reason out, is meant for travelers to know when the train is supposed to arrive and to departure. However, no one is able to predict the departure or arrival of the train. They gather there for weeks without taking baths for the fear that the train may arrive any time and leave them. It is also ironical that most of the travelers wait with much eager for the train to arrive but they still do not get chance to board due to its speed. Some even lose their children and luggage after keeping them for weeks for the journey. Irony provokes the thinking or reasoning of a reader in literature.

Contrast (Juxtaposition): It is the use of two words, with opposite meanings, in a sentence. We are told that Kira was entering Petrograd when he was unaware whether he was a captive or a conqueror. The words conqueror and captive have opposite meanings. The author brings to the reader the kind of confusion in which the mentioned character had faced. It shows how surprise Kira was when he entered Petrograd. He never expected a fair environment where he would stay well just like a warrior. However, when he gets to the railway station and waiting, room he is surprised at his sight. Things had turned against his expectation.

Hyperbole: It refers to the use of exaggeration in a work of literature in order to come up with a strong impression or strong feelings of the reader. They create emphasis and effects. It is one of the most used devices in the passage. “…lost their luggage and children…” The idea of the passengers losing their luggage and children in their struggle to enter the high-speed train is an exaggeration. Literary speaking, the speed of the train cannot be such high on a station where passengers are supposed to alight and board. It is highly exaggerated in order to emphasize on the carelessness of the leaders in the Russian government. Another illustration is about the passengers in the waiting room who had waited for a long time until their bodies started producing smell similar to that of the filthy waiting room. The time taken by the train to arrive at the station has also been exaggerated.  It took three weeks to make three days journey to Petrograd from Crimea.

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Synecdoche: It is where a part of an object or something is used in a book or prose to refer to the whole. An example is lending someone or friend a hand. It means helping him. From the passage, we are told of the “hands of the Red” which was prickling or curbing the country. A hand is a part of human body and has been used to represent the cruel leaders in the Russian society.

Foreshadowing:  This is where an author drops or exposes a clue of something that will happen in the next pages ahead. It creates suspense and makes the readers read on. In the passage, the passengers are alert all the time waiting for the train. They are already aware of what will happen ones the train arrives. They forego many crucial health activities like bathing with the fear of being left by the train. A normal reader of the book would definitely gain inner conviction to continue reading in order to learn what happen ones the train arrives.

Melodrama: It is a type of drama, which involves exaggeration of the characters and the plot in order to appeal to the readers’ emotions. It is portrayed in the passage at the time when the passengers are rushing into the train and leaving their luggage and children behind “…lost their luggage and children….” A normal human being cannot leave his or her child behind in the name of rushing into a train for a journey.

Imagery: This is a style whereby the author, through his or her vivid description, brings into the reader’s mind the actual scenario, picture of something or situation in the novel. Rand’s description of Kira Argounova on his arrival to the waiting room portrays someone who has undergone suffering for a long time. He has old blue suit, which is faded, “sunburned,” and “slender legs” with no stockings. The author further talks of a car, which was behind Kira and was full with freight of bundles and humans. The two, among other several incidences, bring clear imaginations to the mind of the reader concerning the situations at that particular time. 

Sarcasm: It is a bitter cutting remark or expression in a novel. An example is telling someone who is very dirty that he or she is smart and looks very clean. Kira has been described with a comparison of a luxurious traveler on an ocean liner, “...traveler on a luxurious ocean liner...” In real sense, he is far from such a look. Further description portrays him as a poor individual with “plaid silk,” tousled hair and a yellow tassel. Such a remark, to a character in a novel, is very bitter and wounding. Mostly, it has a role of creating humor in a novel.    

Satire: It is ridicule, mainly based on somebody’s weakness, and has a role of making the person improve on his or her weakness. The idea of the travelers taking days in the waiting room to the extent that their bodies start smelling like that of the waiting room is ridiculous. It is meant to facilitate corrections of the situation in the waiting room.

The writing style of the author is creative with immense use of imagery suspense that enables the reader to continue reading. The atmosphere of the passage is gloomy due to the suffering undergone by the characters. The style employed by the writer is a complex one, which requires much, and close concentration in order to derive themes or intended messages. 

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