The Use of Language to Convey Changes and Contrasts in Mood and Meaning

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The use of language to convey changes and contrasts in mood and meaning

Rachel Carson uses a wide variety of linguistics to convey various changes in mood and meaning.

The extract has been labelled “A fable for tomorrow”; the word ‘fable’ shows Carson has intended to capture the reader’s thoughts about the article written and to suggest a meaningful moral at the end of the story.

The first section begins with introducing a town in a very simple manner “there was once a town”, that an old ‘fable’ would start of with, and then locates it in the “heart of America”. The word ‘heart’ connotes importance and love, and it creates a pleasant mood and atmosphere. Carson then describes the unnamed town as a perfect peaceful place that may even seem hyperbolic towards the reader. Such as, ‘Fields of grain’, ‘hillsides of orchards’ and ‘white clouds of bloom’ etc, the language used here is deliberately to create an ideal perfect place that is forever prosperous such as, ‘flickered across a backdrop of pines’, by suggesting an evergreen image. Carson may be building up the ideal peaceful life image before working up towards the next section where there will be a change of scene.

The next section changes drastically, it begins with ‘then’ which hints there is going to be a change in the storyline. The mood changes very differently as the storyline moves on; a peculiar image is created by ‘a strange blight’ that sweeps over the town. The word ‘blight’ changes the rosy atmosphere that was painted in the previous section and leaves a scar on the perfect town image. The sequence of events are told dramatically and in a continuous form, ‘everything began to change’, ‘Some evil spell’, ‘mysterious maladies’ and ‘shadow of death’ . This makes the mood more intense for the reader and the misfortunes are felt. The tone of the text is very mysterious, ‘several and unexplained deaths’, it engages the reader’s thoughts to find out what will occur after the ‘strange...
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