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Prose Appreciation

By jward14 May 17, 2011 424 Words
Prose appreciation

The East, an excerpt from the short story “Youth” written by Joseph Conrad is a descriptive paragraph about a young mans first impression of the east. The tone of the excerpt is admiring because the writer uses words such as “impalpable” and “enslaving” suggesting that the young deckhand was overwhelmed by the magnificent sight of the east.

The aim in descriptive paragraphs is to build descriptive detail. The writer mostly uses long sentences which are suitable for a descriptive paragraph because there can be a lot of detail packed into long sentences. However, there are two short sentences. The fragment sentence “And this is how I see the east” is used to create suspense while the short sentence near the end of the excerpt “That I can never forget” emphasis just how great an impression the east made on the narrator. While most of the sentences are assertive sentences, used to experience the scene of the east through the eyes of the narrator as he approaches the bay, most sentences are also loose sentences to accumulate descriptive detail. However, in the excerpt there are some unordinary sentences. The opening sentence “And this is how I see the east” is a periodic sentence and the delay of the verb “see” is used to create suspense, on the other hand, to emphasize the immense size of the bay, the writer uses the parallel sentence “I see a bay, a wide bay”. We see the same affect on “wide” in the parallel sentence as we saw on “See” is the periodic sentence.

Through out the excerpt, many different types of language devices are used. Sight imagery: used to implant the image of the mountains and the bay the narrator is seeing into the readers mind, Tactile imagery: to give the sensation of holding an oar in hands, Olfactory imagery: to make the reader experience the smells of the wind as the narrator did, Similes: “I see a bay, a wide bay, smooth as glass and polished like ice” to explain just how perfect a day is was and how calm the sea was, and “It was impalpable and enslaving, like a charm, like a whispered promise of mysterious delight” used to create the sense of power that the east had over the young man, Personification: the narrator has “looked into the east’s very soul” used to show the connection between the narrator and the east. The excerpt clearly demonstrates how dumbfounded and impressed the narrator was with the east during his first impression.

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