Santa Ana Winds
In Joan Didion’s Los Angeles Notebook, she depicts the wind’s presence as sinister, however, her description clearly shows that she believes this is an incredibly mysterious and foreboding occurrence. Her use of diction and imagery set the tone for the essay, while her use of detail supports this claim.
In the beginning of the essay Didion creates an image by presenting tension into the essay. She establishes this tension by using “uneasy”, “stillness” and “ominously” in order to create an unnerving feeling or sense of fear in the reader. She describes a fussing baby and her “rekindling” of a previous argument with the telephone company. These strange outbursts seem to be caused by “whatever is in the air”, building a large amount of tension throughout the first paragraph of the essay.
In the second paragraph, Didion primarily uses imagery to convey how the tension developed in the first paragraph develops a kind of foreboding in the essay. Her descriptions of the Pacific being “ominously glossy” and the sky’s “yellow cast” always being related to earthquake weather made the whole paragraph feel very mysterious, and even menacing.
Suspicious actions occur when the winds are present, her descriptions of darkened houses and husbands “roaming” the place in search of trespassers and snakes show how the winds truly effect people. However, an even better description Didion gives for how sinister the winds’ true nature is, was with Raymond Chandler’s quotation of how all the parties end in fights and “meek little wives” feel the edge of the carving knife and stare down their husbands neck, “anything can happen”. It was with this description Didion truly showed how malevolent and frightening these winds were. Even with the research, facts, and scientific evidence from the end of the excerpt, an uneasiness is still with the winds and the mystery surrounding them. The clear objective tone in this part of the essay shows how emotionless and possibly...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document