How is the space described in Part I of The Devil’s Highway?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The opening section of this powerful work of non-fiction describes the Devil's Highway in ways that expose the true horror of its unforgiving and unyielding conditions. Urrea starts this section by trying to imagine what the poor immigrants are experiencing and feeling as they face their plight and are left to wander around lost, without a guide. Note how he describes what they see and experience:

Cutting through the region, and lending its name to the terrible landscape, was the Devil's Highway, more death, another desert. They were in a vast trickery of sand.

Note the powerful metaphor that ends this description, emphasised through the addition of "another desert" that seems to create an impression of endless desert around them. The fact that the metaphor describes the space surrounding them as a "trickery" helps convey the disorientation that the immigrants faced and how difficult it was for them to orient themselves in any way. This was a place of "death" as the quote suggests.


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