Figurative Language

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Zoe Zettel
Mr. Warren
Period 8
12 September, 2012

Figurative Language Essay
In this passage from The Count of Monte Cristo the author uses similes, metaphors, and descriptive details to establish the mood. The mood of this passage is that of a dark, disturbing scene of an execution. The author wants the reader to feel as though they are witnessing a terrifyingly grotesque death.

The authors’ use of similes in this passage can be found throughout. Instead of describing Albert’s face as simply pale, he describes his face as: “as white as his shirt” (line 80). Thus, the reader is able to picture Albert’s face as pure white, thereby creating a mood of nausea and fear.

The authors’ use of metaphors in the passage can be found throughout. The author describes the streets as crowded by saying that: “All the rest of the square was paved with heads” (Line 40). He means this to show how many people are actually at the execution. He gives the reader a sense of false security and a hint at what is to come.

The author uses descriptive details in this passage to let the reader better visualize the scene. Dumas’ describes The Count by saying that: “His nostrils dilated like those of a wild beast that scents its prey, and his lips, half opened, disclosed his white teeth, small and sharp like those of a jackal. And yet his features wore an expression of smiling tenderness” (line 85-95). He gives the reader a sense of animalistic terror and shows that the count is rather enjoying the execution and wishes for it to continue quickly.

The author uses figurative language; similes, metaphors, descriptive details, to set up the mood of the overall scene. This overall passage is very dark and Dumas’ is able to show the reader that through his descriptions. Dumas’ is very good at painting a picture for the reader and it is very easy to visualize the scene.
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