September 19 and 20



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Imagery

September 19 and 20

Consider:

She looked into the distance, and the old terror flamed up for an instance, then sank again. Edna heard her father’s voice and her sister Margaret’s. She heard the barking of an old dog that was chained to the sycamore tree. The spurs of the cavalry officer clanged as he walked across the porch. There was the hum of the bees, and the musky odor of pinks filled the air.



Discuss:

  1. Although the narrator “looks into the distance,” the images are primarily auditory. What are the auditory images in the passage? What mood do these images create?



  1. The last sentence of this passage contains an olfactory image (the musky odor of pinks fill the air). What effect does the use of an olfactory image, after a series of auditory images, have on the reader?

Apply:

Write a paragraph in which you create a scene through auditory imagery. The purpose of your paragraph is to create a calm, peaceful mood. Use one olfactory image to enhance the mood created by auditory imagery.



Answers:

  1. Auditory images include her father’s voice, her sister Margaret’s voice, the barking of a dog, the spurs of a cavalry officer, and the hum of bees. These images of ordinary life are in the distance, audible but nor immediate. Nothing directly interacts with Edna. She is a watcher and a listener, removed from the homely action of the passage.

  2. The olfactory image brings the reader back to Edna. The auditory images are all in the distance. However, the olfactory image fill[s] the air. It shifts the reader’s attention and concern back to Edna and her loneliness.


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