Last Updated on August 30, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 506
Despite essentially being a description of someone drooling on themselves as they sleep, the following quote is an excellent example of descriptive imagery. Words and phrases such as "oozing" and "oil-like liquid" helps readers to better imagine the slow movement and thick consistency of the man's saliva.
Then a savage indignation filled the conductor. For in the soft vibrating light inside the bus, he saw, running down from the left corner of the watcher's mouth, a stream of the man's spittle. Oozing freely, the oil-like liquid first entangled itself in the fingers of the watcher's left hand, underneath which it spread and touched the rusty metal lining of the seat with a dark sheen, then descended with quiet inevitability down the dirty aged leather of the seat itself, losing itself at last in the depression made by the joint. The watcher was no watcher after all, only a sleeper.
The next quote examines a particular philosophy on life, which not only suggests that life has many different routes and possibilities, but that we would all do well to experience these different opportunities as quickly as possible.
Teacher, my wife explained to me, step by step, that life was like a lot of roads: long roads, short roads, wide and narrow, steep and level, all sorts of roads. Next, she let me know that human beings were like so many people driving their cars on all these roads. This was the point at which she told me that those who wanted to get far had to learn to drive fast.
In many ways, this is an accurate analogy for the inevitable ups and downs of life. Much like getting in a car, setting a destination, and determining the ideal route to get there, we all decide to take different paths in life. Some decisions we make are short, sweet, and smooth like a well paved road. Other times, the life choices we make are arduous, painful, and jarring like a road full of potholes.
Though simple, the next and final quote is beautiful and profound in its simplicity. The sand that spans an ocean's shore or lines a river is something that we may view for a moment, but think very little of. However, if we were to take the time to contemplate how many individual grains of sand must be present on an entire beach, we would find the task impossible.
The sand looked so beautiful then, so many little individual grains in the light of the night, giving the watcher the childhood feeling of infinite things finally understood, the humiliating feeling of the watcher's nothingness.
In this passage, we find the watcher admiring the sand's beauty and noticing its individual grains. The watcher felt "humiliated" by his nothingness due to his acknowledgment of the grandness of the world and everything in it. He could no more explain any phenomenon in existence than he could count each grain of sand or explain their origins; this realization made him feel small and insignificant in comparison to creation.
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