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What are 15 literary devices, with examples and pages, used in Cormac Mcarthy's...

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ashleys94 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 11, 2010 at 6:19 PM via web

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What are 15 literary devices, with examples and pages, used in Cormac Mcarthy's books?

Please help me, this is a very important paper and i am at a loss. I need to locate 15 different literary devices that are in any of Cormac McCarthy's books, i have to also show the quote and page number,. Thanks so much!

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 12, 2010 at 7:32 AM (Answer #2)

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I don't have all of McCarthy's books handy, but I do have The Road. McCarthy is a master of prose-poetry, a combination of prose (sentences) and poetry (fragments, sound devices).  Here are 20 from the first paragraph (I've included extra because imagery might be counted for only one):

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world. His hand rose and fell softly with each precious breath. He pushed away the plastic tarpaulin and raised himself in the stinking robes and blankets and looked toward the east for any light but there was none. In the dream from which he'd wakened he had wandered in a cave where the child led him by the hand. Their light playing over the wet flowstone walls. Like pilgrims in a fable swallowed up and lost among the inward parts of some granitic beast. Deep stone flues where the water dripped and sang. Tolling in the silence the minutes of the earth and the hours and the days of it and the years without cease. Until they stood in a great stone room where lay a black and ancient lake. And on the far shore a creature that raised its dripping mouth from the rimstone pool and stared into the light with eyes dead white and sightless as the eggs of spiders. It swung its head low over the water as if to take the scent of what it could not see. Crouching there pale and naked and translucent, its alabaster bones cast up in shadow on the rocks behind it. Its bowels, its beating heart. The brain that pulsed in a dull glass bell. It swung its head from side to side and then gave out a low moan and turned and lurched away and loped soundlessly into the dark.  (1)

  1. Alliteration: "dark beyond darkness and the days"
  2. Assonance: "low moan and turned and lurched away"
  3. Consonance: "woke in the woods in the dark"
  4. Sibilance: "sightless as the eggs of spiders"
  5. Cacophony: "granitic beast"
  6. Euphony: "Their light playing over the wet flowstone walls"
  7. Simile: "Like the onset of some cold glaucoma"
  8. Metaphor: "the inward parts of some granitic beast"
  9. Color Imagery: "black," "dark," "gray," "shadow," "pale"
  10. Body Imagery: "bowels," "head," "bones"
  11. Visual (Eye) Imagery: "eyes," "see," "sightless," "stared"
  12. Auditory (Ear) Imagery: "silence," "pulsed," "soundlessly"
  13. Olfactory (Smell) Imagery: "scent," "stinking"
  14. Nature Imagery: "pool," "stone," "rocks," "woods," "spiders"
  15. Polysyndeton: He pushed away the plastic tarpaulin and raised himself in the stinking robes and blankets and looked"
  16. Point-of-view: 3rd person limited ("he")
  17. Syntax: mix of sentences and fragments for emphasis
  18. Spatial organization: "on the far shore"
  19. Concrete language: lots of nouns
  20. Ambiguity: language that is intentionally vague or allegorical (no names: "he," "child," "creature")
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ashleys94 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 16, 2010 at 1:18 PM (Answer #3)

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I don't have all of McCarthy's books handy, but I do have The Road. McCarthy is a master of prose-poetry, a combination of prose (sentences) and poetry (fragments, sound devices).  Here are 20 from the first paragraph (I've included extra because imagery might be counted for only one):

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world. His hand rose and fell softly with each precious breath. He pushed away the plastic tarpaulin and raised himself in the stinking robes and blankets and looked toward the east for any light but there was none. In the dream from which he'd wakened he had wandered in a cave where the child led him by the hand. Their light playing over the wet flowstone walls. Like pilgrims in a fable swallowed up and lost among the inward parts of some granitic beast. Deep stone flues where the water dripped and sang. Tolling in the silence the minutes of the earth and the hours and the days of it and the years without cease. Until they stood in a great stone room where lay a black and ancient lake. And on the far shore a creature that raised its dripping mouth from the rimstone pool and stared into the light with eyes dead white and sightless as the eggs of spiders. It swung its head low over the water as if to take the scent of what it could not see. Crouching there pale and naked and translucent, its alabaster bones cast up in shadow on the rocks behind it. Its bowels, its beating heart. The brain that pulsed in a dull glass bell. It swung its head from side to side and then gave out a low moan and turned and lurched away and loped soundlessly into the dark.  (1)

  1. Alliteration: "dark beyond darkness and the days"
  2. Assonance: "low moan and turned and lurched away"
  3. Consonance: "woke in the woods in the dark"
  4. Sibilance: "sightless as the eggs of spiders"
  5. Cacophony: "granitic beast"
  6. Euphony: "Their light playing over the wet flowstone walls"
  7. Simile: "Like the onset of some cold glaucoma"
  8. Metaphor: "the inward parts of some granitic beast"
  9. Color Imagery: "black," "dark," "gray," "shadow," "pale"
  10. Body Imagery: "bowels," "head," "bones"
  11. Visual (Eye) Imagery: "eyes," "see," "sightless," "stared"
  12. Auditory (Ear) Imagery: "silence," "pulsed," "soundlessly"
  13. Olfactory (Smell) Imagery: "scent," "stinking"
  14. Nature Imagery: "pool," "stone," "rocks," "woods," "spiders"
  15. Polysyndeton: He pushed away the plastic tarpaulin and raised himself in the stinking robes and blankets and looked"
  16. Point-of-view: 3rd person limited ("he")
  17. Syntax: mix of sentences and fragments for emphasis
  18. Spatial organization: "on the far shore"
  19. Concrete language: lots of nouns
  20. Ambiguity: language that is intentionally vague or allegorical (no names: "he," "child," "creature")

Thank you!

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