et A silhouette is defined as a "dark image outlined against a lighter background." this title is perfect for the lifeless world described in Pauline Johnson's poem, Silhouette. The silhouette is used as a metaphor for the decay of the chief. As the Chiefs surroundings decay and fall apart around him. The chief is slowly consumed by the loss of the land and his people. As the land begins to evaporate around him he becomes the "dark shadow-like shape" that once the leader of his tribe.
In silhouette the setting is very important to the development of the theme. The image of change and decay is already present in the first line "The sky-line melts from russet into blue" from beginning the Pauline Johnson has created the image of change by placing the poem in the archetypal setting of dusk. Throughout the entire essay the landscape is always in a state of flux. Dusk (the change from night to day) reinforces that. The use of the word "melts" also creates the image of change. Melt represents the slow loss of the Indian chief's land and the slow decay of the chief himself. The Chief seems to be alone in the land, "A solitary Indian teepee stands" but "the distant lodges of the Sioux" are described in the first stanza. The chief seems to be the only one left that still inhabits the teepees, while the rest of Sioux have moved on and changed, as the landscape became more violent. The chief's inability to change is slowly destroying him. The use of the word "Etched as if the chief is permanently place within the land and he dies as the land dies.
Many rhetorical devices like metaphors similes and personification are used extensively throughout the essay to portray the death of the land. "and cloudland touch and die" is perfect examples of this. Rather than just simply describing the horizon she breaths life into the land by giving it the cloud lands a human quality of death. Even the smoke as it" curls up the far thin air" has life. "Fixed and stern as fates...
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