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Tone and Imagery in The School Children

Tone and Imagery in The School Children

Louise Gluck’s The School Children may provide some shock for readers as it twists and turns through a school day marked by eerie abnormalities. Gluck successfully uses visual imagery to convey a deeper meaning to a fourteen-line poem about children, teachers and parents. These three groups come to life through the descriptive poem that allows readers to form their own conclusions. Though Gluck’s meaning is never clearly stated, her use of tone and imagery create an extremely visual work with three dynamic sets of characters.

Gluck continuously presents the schoolchildren as simple, orderly creatures. She portrays them as heading to school with their book bags and later in the poem points out the orderly arrangement of their coats inside their classroom. This orderliness helps readers perceive the children as wooden dolls or mindless beings that follow instruction. Gluck writes, How orderly they are- the nails on which the children hang their overcoats of blue or yellow woods (8-10). These lines are divided in a manner that present an image of children hanging orderly on nails before the reader reaches the final line describing their clothing and show the powerful imagery created by Gluck. It is important to note that the children are described as only having two different styles of coats- a yellow wool coat, perhaps for girls, and a blue wool coat, most likely for boys. Gluck leaves readers imagining a flock of orderly children wearing similar clothing while sitting in their classroom.

Joining the schoolchildren inside the classroom are teachers, whom Gluck describes…

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…f a June Cleaver figure who is sending a token of appreciation to her child s teacher. Instead they are interpreted to be desperate creatures seeking for any sign of hope in an environment filled with gloom.

The descriptions of these three sets of characters through visual imagery provided an important element in Gluck s creation of The School Children which is part of her larger work, The House on Marshland that was drafted in 1971. Throughvisual imagery she creates a combination of characters that help readers interpret the possible underlying meanings of the work. Gluck successfully uses the schoolchildren, teachers and mothers as vehicles for the various interpretations of her work. In the process, she creates dynamic characters that we are able to understand through symbolism and imagery.

The Development of Action in Kate Chopin’s The Storm

The Development of Action in The Storm

“The Storm” by Kate Chopin is about a storm that passes through a coastal townin the Southern United States. The story charts the different phases of the storm, and then associates the character interaction with each phase. The tension between characters increases as the physical aspects of the storm become more violent. This essay will outline the development of the storm and coincide character relationships with the outline. The passing of the storm is the central action in The Storm and this essay will analyze the affect it has on the story as a whole.

The storm is noted in the first line of the story. The stillness in the air alerted even Bibi, the boy, of the incoming weather. We find that both the boy and his father are worried about Calixta, the female head of the household. Bobinot is the husband and father. The mounting conditions make him think of his wife at home, and the sanctity of a strong marriage in contrast with the turbulence of a storm; he buys her a can of the shrimp that she is so fond of, a type of security for times when conditions are adverse. (Stanford, 665) Calixta is at home; her work has left her unaware of the gathering clouds. The next mention of the physicalities of the storm comes along with a stranger on a horse. The reader learns that the animals are huddled away from the storm, leading one to believe that the sense of changing weather is instinctual and that creatures will behave instinctually. Just as the stranger is to voice an opinion that would break a dangerous chain of event…

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…ions were perfect for a storm. Chopin does show humans with power over these conditions, when Alcee must fight his instinctive desires and leave Calixta for example, even though in most respects she treats the lustful urges encountered by Calixta and Alcee as uncontrollable and unavoidable as a storm. Chopin wanted to show that human nature is still a part of nature and that humans still must cater to Mother Nature s whims. The storm in this story is not essential for Chopin to get her point across, though it is a very strong backbone to carry her idea. She could have chosen several natural occurrences. Storms are traditionally literarily friendly and that humans have a certain fascination with storms. In closing, the different phases of the storm in this story is a good guideline for matters of the heart.

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