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C. Mccarthy

In: English and Literature

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In the passage from The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy, the narrator tells of an experience of a boy burying a wolf in the mountains, but there is some sort of unwritten connection between him and the wolf. The author uses imagery and syntax to illustrate the complex feelings of sadness that the boy experiences. Elaborate diction is combined to suggest a somber, grieving setting while allusions within the text indicate a reverence the boy has developed toward the wolf and the event. Personification of the wolf and the fire indicate a deeper assimilation to nature felt by the boy. The poem's syntax is fairly regular up until the second paragraph, where the first sentence is connected by “and” eight times. This technique tends to draw in a sense of thoughtless routine. Typically when a death occurs, there is that beginning grief stage of denial where all senses are numbed by the force of the reality, and the layout of the sentence only seems to add to that sense of restlessness the narrator felt was necessary to illustrate the boy's consciousness. “Tall escarpments” and “grassy swale” are used to indicate how small the boy and his wolf are and the insignificance of the death. Essentially, it is saying that it is nature for things like this to happen and the fact that it is uncommon for anyone to take note of something so small in the world. This only amplifies the feelings the boy has toward the death, and causes him more grief. Choice vocabulary is the main technique used by McCarthy to convey the protagonist's emotions on the subject and give insight into the possible reality of the situation. In the first paragraph, “cradled” and “unfolded the sheet” release the idea that the boy has a deep care for the life. No one would cradle a dead animal up in a sheet and take it up to the mountains specifically for the burial of the creature; therefore, it implies that there was a previous relationship between the boy and the wolf. It is interpreted that the wolf was killed by the hand of a hunter or another wolf through the diction of “cries clapped shut”, “wound of war” and “huntress”. The boy visualizes his wolf running through the mountains and this, in addition to the personification of the fire, just expands the thought behind a previous affinity between the two and of the boy's relationship with nature. This also implicates a deeper grief felt by the boy in the event of the death.…...

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