What words and phrases does the author use to make you realize how Matt feels when autumn begins in Sign of the Beaver?  What words and phrases does the author use to make you realize how Matt feels when autumn begins and his family still hasn't come?

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In describing the changes in the atmosphere as autumn approaches, the author says,

"There (is) a chilliness inside (Matt) as well that neither the sun nor the fire ever quite reache(s).  It seem(s) to him that day to day the shadow of the forest move(s) closer to the cabin".

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In describing the changes in the atmosphere as autumn approaches, the author says,

"There (is) a chilliness inside (Matt) as well that neither the sun nor the fire ever quite reache(s).  It seem(s) to him that day to day the shadow of the forest move(s) closer to the cabin".

These words describe Matt's inner feelings as he realizes that his family should have arrived long ago, but have not.  There is a void within him, and he feels less secure and more unprotected as the days get shorter and the forest seems to be encroaching on the safety of his cabin.  Matt is lonely, and very worried.  He wonders,

"Why (is) his family so late in coming?"

The author uses other words and phrases as well to communicate Matt's state of mind at this time.   He is anxious, counting his notched sticks "over and over, though he (knows) the number only too well...he (keeps) hoping he (has) made a mistake".  The "songbirds (have) disappeared", mirroring Matt's loss of peace to the sense of foreboding the change of seasons brings.  He hears "a faraway trumpeting and (has) seen long straggles of wild geese...high in the air, moving south", which accentuate his growing feelings of abandonment (Chapter 18).

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