Short Story Analysis
Was It a Dream?
Subconsciously, a lover mourning over his dead wife has come to the realization that his spouse has been unfaithful. With his selected dark vocabulary he creates a clear picture of the character’s surroundings. This vivid image provided to the readers by Guy de Maupassant allows insight to the atmosphere and the mood of the story.
Statement #1: Guy de Maupassant’s choices of words help readers understand the character’s emotions. Example #1: “I was standing there trembling, with my eyes fixed on the glass—on that flat, profound, empty glass—which had contained her entirely and had possessed her as much as I. I felt as if I loved that glass. I thought it; it was cold. Sorrowful mirror, burning mirror, horrible mirror, to make men suffer such torments!” Explanation #1: We see the emotional tension and state that he is in after losing his dearly loved one. He obsessed over a simple thing like a mirror. Calling the mirror words such as sorrowful and horrible gives readers the impression that the man is at the end of his wits and seems to be losing it.
Statement #2: Having a narrow yet plenty of adjectives to describe the scenes bring the story alive for the reader. Almost as though putting the readers inside the story watching the story unfold. Example #2: “Suddenly it seemed to me the slab of marble on which I was sitting was moving. As if it were being raised. With a bound I sprang onto the neighbouring tomb, and I distinctly saw the stone which I had just quitted rise upright.” Explanation #2: As I read this paragraph, I felt it was I who the marble moved under. Using words such as “slab” of marble just made the reader’s question the shape and the appearance of the marble; therefore in a way lures the readers into thinking outside of the box. Guy de Maupassant uses adjectives such as “sprang” which give the character’s life and movement.
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