Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rhetoric Study

Page 312-13:

"He saw men killed with guns with knives and with ropes and he saw women fought over to the death whose value they themselves set at two dollars. he saw ships form the land of China chained in the small harbors and bales of tea and silks and spices broken open with swords by small yellow men with speech like cats. on that lonely coast where the steep rocks cradled as dark and muttersome sea he saw vultures at their soaring whose wingspan so dwarfed lesser birds that the eagles shrieking underneath were more like terns or plovers. He saw piles of gold a hat would scarcely have covered wagered on the turn of a card and lost and he saw bears and lions turned loose in pits to fight wild bulls to the death and he was twice in the city of San Francisco and twice saw it burn and never went back, riding out on horseback along the road to the south where all night the shape of the city burned against the sky and burned again in the black waters of the sea where dolphins rolled through the flames, fire in the lake, through the fall of burning timbers and the cries of the lost. He never saw the expriest again. Of the judge he heard rumor everywhere."

Within the paragragh, McCarthy uses some of his best rhetoric in the book. For instance, "He saw" appears at the beginning of every sentence save the last one and even within some sentences and provides parallelism. There are also two great similes in the excerpt. In the first,  he compares the speech of Chinesemen to cats, which portrays the racism of the period. In the second, he compares eagles and smaller birds becaues, in contrast with the vulture, the eagle looks petite. This could be a sign that all of the virtures of America (freedom. honor, etc) are overshadowed by the qualities of the vulture, mostly death and scavengery. Next there are some personifications giving things like the coast and the sea feelings like lonliness and mutter-like chatter. This section of text is plagued with choppiness due to the varying sentence legnths, especially the long sentence at the end. Finally, I believe that three epanalepsi are set one after the other towards the end of the paragraph. (They are underlined). McCarthy attempts and succeeds in characterizing the growth of the Kid to the Man and creates and efffective transition that sums up all of his travels.

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