Cormier is very successful in engaging the readers interest through the use of a wide range of literary techniques including features of the thriller genre, narrative perspective and setting.
The graphic and shocking description of the trashing of the house immediately grabs the reader's attention. The matter-of-fact, objective tone lists through the use of accumulation the extent of the destruction the vandals create. '' They over-turned furniture, smashed the picture tubes... tore two VCRs from their sockets''.
The repetition of the personal pronoun ''they'' highlights the fact that these vandals are anonymous. The use of strong verbs ''broke, yanked, smashed'' conveys the degree/extent/enormity of their violence.
Cormier's choice of blunt and confronting language ''they shit on the floors and pissed on the walls'' emphasises their complete disregard to the people who owned the house.
The recording of the specific details such as the times they entered and left the house- '' 9:02 pm, 9:51 pm''- stresses the short period of time in which such extensive destruction occurred.
The use of personification emphasises the ravaging forces of the trashers - '' sending shudders along the walls and ceiling''- this highlights the violent actions occurring in the Jerome household.
Cormier's choice of using contrast creates a vivid image of the anonymous vandals- '' He did not know their names, had never seen them before, but he knew who they were. They were regular kids''- this highlights the themes presented in the novel such as appearance vs reality.
The description of Karen Jerome's entry into her home introduces the suspense for the reader as he/she wonders whether she will be saved. Through the use of threatening dialogue from one of the 'invaders' and ellipsis, '' Well, hello...'' causes the reader to be concerned for her safety.
The technique of a serious of short sentences reinforces the readers awareness of the danger of Karen's...
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