The Street Essay

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Deanna Graves
AP Literature
Period 3 Ms. Guy
October 4, 2010
The Street
In the novel The Street by Ann Petry, there is an antagonist relationship between the main character, Ludie Johnson, and the wind that is terrorizing the city. Petry establishes the wind as an antagonist in the novel to show how the environment is affecting the daily lives of the residents of 116th Street by use of literary devices. The conflict with the wind is a daily occurrence in which every resident of 116th Street is faced with. The wind is personified; given human characteristics to show how the wind serves as the antagonist in the story. “It did everything it could to discourage the people walking along the street.’’ This quote shows how the wind pestered the resilient residents of 116th Street; it shows how no matter the grave weather conditions, the people still must carry on with their daily activities. Petry uses imagery in order for the readers to imagine how tough it was for the people to maneuver through the city as implied by this quote: “It wrapped newspaper around their feet entangling them until the people cursed deep in their throats…” The descriptive language of this quote alludes that the city is filthy, which made it even more difficult for the people to get to their destinations. Petry uses the protagonist, Ludie, as a metonymy for the residents of 116th Street; she symbolizes the will to keep going. Even when Ludie is experiencing a conflict with nature she has to push forward and try to get what she is looking for, a home. She is faced with the difficulties with the wind everyday and she cannot do anything about it, neither can the others living on 116th Street. “Each time she thought she had the sign in focus, the wind pushes it away from her so that she wasn’t certain it said three rooms or two rooms.” The author shows how Ludie is experiencing problems with reading a sign and also how the wind is trying to keep her from getting what she needs. The...
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