Star of the Sea

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Star of the Sea
By: Joseph O’Connor

I.B. English A1

The passage from Star of the Sea was written by Joseph O’Connor. It is a piece of narrative prose which takes place on a passenger ship. The passage is written in a third-person subjective narrative mode. The passage is takes place at a point in the storyline as the ship is passing through a violent storm at sea, which portrays the forces of nature

The passage starts with a sense of an atmosphere, “The music of the ship was howling around him.” This sentences is very filled with visual and auditory imagery. The opening sentence creates a feeling of a fast-paced rhythm in its brief expression. The pace reflects the craziness of flooding rain and surging sea.

The metaphor of the ship’s “music… howling” brings an auditory imagery which symbolizes the storm, which overwhelms the singular pronoun “him” just as the storm overwhelms the Star of the Sea. As well Nature overwhelms the Man. “The low whistling; the tortured rumbles; the wheezy sputters of breeze flowing through it” gives a sharp feeling with its short phrases, which gives the sentence certain rhythm. The repetition of similar vowels (“whistling”, “wheezy”, “breeze”) creates a hollow sound that are similar to that of a gust of wind at sea.

All of a sudden there is a quickness and urgency that is showed in the use of the present progressive tense: “Rolling. Foaming. Rushing. Surging.” The repetition of the ending “ing” and the similarly short, onomatopoeic verbs create the image of rapid increase and decrease. The sounds of these words recreate the loud surges of rushing water. The waves begin to grow and this can be seen by the increasing amount of consonants (“thicken”, “swell”, “strength”), and now it is a “battlement… almost crumpling against its own weight, the metaphor of the sea as a “battlement” compares it to the structure of defense. It is like the water is waging war against the boat and almost overcoming itself in its own...
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