Passage Commentary from the Sound of Waves

Topics: Wind, Irony, Yukio Mishima Pages: 3 (837 words) Published: March 26, 2005
In this excerpt from The Sound of Waves, Yukio Mishima's use of descriptive diction and imagery depicts the tumultuous island during the storm and helps the reader visualize the milieu and events of the passage. The reader feels an understated, ironic excitement and anticipation that is established in this passage because of the author's diction. This simple but illustrative passage from The Sound of Waves altogether creates an enhanced experience and familiarity with the backdrop and atmosphere of the passage.

Explanatory diction in this passage helps describe the setting and situation of the passage, and transforms the dismal feeling of the excerpt into a sense of anticipation. Near the beginning of the passage, the author suggests that the state of the island was atypical the day prior, with an "unseasonably damp" wind and a "strange light" across the sky. The island had a "ground swell set in" and a "beach aroar with incoming waves", the word "aroar" used with "incoming waves", combined with the unusual wind and odd light present on the island, suggests that the island setting has changed from normal and calm conditions to stormy ones, and indicates that a storm is imminent. The reader may infer that the differences in the island settings imply an unusual day for Shinji, who normally works in the fair island weather as a fisherman. Because of this foreshadowing in the passage, one might predict that Shinji will not be working today because of the stormy weather that "was enough to tell him that the boats would not be put out today". While the storm occurs, the author's language describes its wrath and effect on Shinji's home, describing the house that is "shaking violently" with "rattling" windows. Mishima's direct word choice tells readers simply that the house was trembling, with clattering windows. He intends to portray the extent of the storm's wrath, so the reader can visualize its violence on the houses of Uta-Jima. Finally, the underlying feeling...
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