Self- Help by Lorrie Moore

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"Lorrie Moore's Literary Devices"

In this paper I will discuss the literary devices that Lorrie Moore uses in her book Self-Help. Moore uses images, sound patterns, and humor in her book to aid her work. Without the use of these literary devices Moore's book would not be appealing to her readers.

There are many remarkable examples of the use of imagery in all of Moore's short stories. She depicts her images so well that the reader can picture them in their minds. An example of this is in "How to Be an Other Woman," when Moore describes Charlene's mother appearance after she insults her mother. "She looks up at you, her mouth trembling, pieces of her brown-gray hair dangling in her salty eyes, pink silverware cream caking onto her hands, onto her wedding ring… shaking her head, bursts into tears (15)." In "What is Seized," Moore paints us a picture of Lynnie's mother when she put Lynnie and her brother to bed. "…with a low, wonderful laugh, smiling and bending over us to wetly kiss our cheeks, her hair down, long, black, and sweeping against my chest and chin, smelling soapy and dry…and the lake light shone into the room through the slats of the blinds, tentatively striping her hair and face or the arm of her sweater…as she moved…the stripes moved up and down her (28)." Moore uses imagery again in "How to Talk to Your Mother (Notes)," when she describes the yard outside of Ginnie's old house. "It is like Halloween: the raked, moonlit lawn, the mammoth, tumid trees, arms and fingers raised into the starless wipe of sky like burns, cracks, map rivers. Their black shadows rock against the side of the east porch (86)." As we can see images like these add to interest of Moore's stories.

Another literary device Moore uses is sound pattern to describe setting for the reader.
Although Moore's stories seem to have serious topics, she does use humor occasionally to relieve the tension you some times feel when reading her book. An example of this is in...
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