In Strange Meeting, what techniques does Susan Hill use to describe of the effects of the war?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Strange Meeting is a novel by Susan Hill which depicts what happened during World War I. The novel's imagery details descriptions which bring to life the horror of the war upon those fighting and the reader him/herself.

At one point in the novel (found in Part II), Hill's narrator describes the anticipation the men feel as they approach the town made heavy by the superstition which surrounds it. During this excerpt, Hilliard and Barton's initial mental images of Feuvry are crushed. It is not the picturesque town which they believed it to be. Instead, the town is one which forces the men to reconsider their initial beliefs. Neither man was "prepared for Feuvry." The men, astonished by the town, given its comparison to hell, are unable to lift their voices in song (something they have used previously to lighten the mood and lift their spirits).

Therefore, one of the most important techniques which Hill uses is that of imagery. Given the descriptive language of the novel lends itself to the creating of mental images for the reader, the imagery alone helps to describe hoe the war has impacted the men.


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