What are 5 literary devices used in the Prologue of Swallowing Stones by Joyce McDonald?
One distinct literary device that emerges in the Prologue of Swallowing Stones is the use of the third person narration. McDonald uses this style of narration to simultaneously explain what happens to both Jenna and Michael in that fateful moment. The narrative method is also illuminated in the Prologue. It becomes clear that switching narrative focus throughout the story is how McDonald is going to unfold the elements of plot development.
Another device that the Prologue utilizes is detailing the plot, as it becomes clear that Jenna's moment of seeing her father die and Michael's moment of happiness in his birthday party and striving for peer admiration will form the crux of the narrative. The mood of the story is another device that is seen in the opening of the Prologue: "There is no stopping it; the bullet rips through the hot summer haze, missing trees, houses, unsuspecting birds, coming to roost, finally, like an old homing pigeon." Consider the wording that McDonald uses in articulating the opening of the Prologue. The ripping of the bullet "through the hot summer haze" is critical in establishing the mood or feeling of the story.
Finally, the literary device of conflict is evident in how Jenna sees her father's body in front of her and its emotional aspect: "Slowly his body folds over itself, and over, plunging to the porch roof below, rolling like a heavy log over the side, coming to rest, finally by Jenna’s bare feet." These literary devices become critical in ensuring that the Prologue sets the stage for the entire story.