The effect created in the passage from Cold Mountain leaves a profound effect on the reader. The author uses a multitude of connotative diction and specific word choices to describe setting, characters and moods. The mood is set off from the start and flows well into the end. Charles Frazier uses detailed imagery when describing the house, the 3-legged dog, the knapsack and the smokehouse. When describing the house, he mentions that it is slanted, indicating that things are out of balance. The 3-legged dog also signifies an unbalance in the setting. He gives the home “toadlike” characteristics, describing that it is nasty, slimy and unpleasant. From this description, it gives the reader a mysterious and timid feeling from the beginning of the passage. To further emphasize this feeling, when describing the dog, Frazier explains that’s it comes out of its den like a wild animal and “snatches” its bone like a wolf. He further elucidates that it is a wild place with savage creatures that dwell within it. Further in the passage, Frazier tells how Inman follows the dog to the back of the house onto the porch. Immediately, Inman begins to rummage around for a gun. He “thrusts” his arm through a wood stack to find the LeMat pistol. This gives the reader the impression that Inman is very angry, and wants to do something with the gun, such as seeking revenge. While the gun was in Inman’s hand, Frazier explains that it was like a tonic to feel the weight of the pistol. This also gives us an insight to how furious and angrily unstable Inman is. The author proceeds to describe the smokehouse, where Inman in headed to. He describes the bayonet “stobbed” into the dirt floor, how packed the room was and how there was so much grease everywhere that the flame cast glints off it. This could easily be depicted as a parallel to describing hell in another fashion. Frazier details every action in this scene. For example, he explains how Inman...
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