Cemetery Path

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‘Cemetery Path’ By Leonard Ross Essay
The story ‘Cemetery Path’ is about a timid little man who was constantly mocked by a young lieutenant by nicknames like ‘pigeon’ and ‘Ivan the terrible’. Ross uses this to show the reader the concept of mental fear and how fear can consume us and drive us down to serious consequences. Ross begins the story ‘Cemetery Path’ with the portrayal of Ivan as a scared and timid who is very afraid. Ivan’s strange behaviour, of not crossing the cemetery, not even in the ‘full light of the moon’ is mocked by others. The adjective ‘familiar’ conveys how long and often the cruel villagers took their ‘mockery of Ivan’. The people of the saloon cruelly enjoyed the suffering of Ivan and his cowardly actions. We learn of Ivan’s timidity by the actions of him, a ‘mild protest’. Ross uses the adjective ‘mild’ to emphasize Ivan’s lack of resilience and ability to fight back. The verb ‘fed’ in the phrase ‘fed their taunts’ indicates Ivan’s protests were completely futile. We understand from these words that Ivan is very lonely and the villagers do not have any feelings of empathy towards Ivan. Ross’s language choices and effective description of the characters tell us of how fear and serious timidity constricts peoples’ lives. Ross shows us how people can mock or bribe people like Ivan who is afraid and ignorant of their own fears, to unavoidable outcomes. Ross brings a figure of authority into the text to a fearful situation. Ross also uses the figure of authority to explain his ideas. The ‘young Cossack Lieutenant’ challenges Ivan with a tempting dare- if Ivan completes the challenge he receives ‘five gold roubles’ from the Lieutenant. Here, Ross’s point is that how someone who has more power will easily make you obey and how they can make fun of you and bribe you into unpleasant results. Ivan surprisingly accepts the challenge. Although Ivan accepts the challenge, Ross makes the reader question Ivan’s answer: ‘perhaps it was the vodka’ and...
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