What is this paragraph detailing, particularly the line "Just the ever present smudge of unwanted words on the skyline"? - There were few sunsets; there were no clouds to scatter the light of the...

What is this paragraph detailing, particularly the line "Just the ever present smudge of unwanted words on the skyline"?

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There were few sunsets; there were no clouds to scatter the light of the sinking sun. Just the ever-present smudge of unwanted words sulking on the skyline. Afternoons turned to dusk with little easing in temperature and only a leaden light on the horizon to signal the passing of another day. It was a strange, still summer, and John Reynoldson did not like it.

 

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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This passage is detailing an emotional state through imagery. The narrative voice, attached to the name "John Reynoldson", observes a skyline in the evening and notes what is not present, what is present, and how this registers on Reynoldson. 

By including details of what is not present, the narrator implies that Reynoldson feels something is missing. In particular, beauty is missing from the sky-line. There are no colorful sunsets and, he believes, there ought to be. 

The line "Just a smudge of ever present unwanted words on the sky-line" is difficult to interpret exactly without more context. We might interpret the line as referring literally to words written on billboards or commercial buildings visible on the sky-line, representing a sense of capitalism's banality in practice. 

The line may, alternatively, refer to Reynoldson's profession, suggesting that the end of one day merely signifies the impending start of another. This may be true if the narrator/character is a writer of some kind. 

The use of the term "summer" often suggests ideas of youth, energy, and peak experiences. The narrator implies with this term that, not only is something missing, something is wrong about the image of sunset on a summer evening. There is no beauty; no peak experience. There is merely a dullness and some heat.

There is an implication that things may change for the narrator - at least he wants things to change. The repetitive and uninspiring state of his life as part of this image is not meant to last. 

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