The Rattler Comentary

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The Rattler

The author's techniques in “The Rattler” convey the narrator's obligation to protect those living on the ranch, but also the narrator's uncertainty about the need of killing the snake. The reader feels sympathy for the rancher and also identifies with his conflict. The author does this through the use of Diction, Imagery, and Organization. The author's Diction heightens the rancher's commitment to protect the people and the doubt he feels about the decision. Although the man's first “instinct” was not to kill the snake, he realized that it was his “duty” to kill it because of the “ominous” danger it posed to the ranch. The man's natural “instinct” and his moral “duty” to protect the ranch do not align, creating the conflict that the reader identifies with. The man recognizes the “ominous” danger posed by the snake, leaving him with an obligation to remove the danger. At first, the rancher's thought was to “let [the snake] go” for the rancher “never killed” an animal and not “obliged” to kill, but he “reflected” that it posed as a threat to the ranch, thus having to remove it. The rancher wanted to “let [the snake] go” for he has “never killed an animal” because he does not “feel the satisfaction” of killing as a sport. The rancher was very hesitant to kill, but he “reflected” that he needed to protect. The man's obligation and regret about killing the snake creates a conflict that generates the readers emotions through Diction; the Imagery further illustrates this conflict.

The author adds to the effect of the passage through imagery that details both the snake and the fight. Even after the snake is dead, “his jaws gape and snap once more”, proving that he is still a threat to the ranch. After the snake is dead, the rancher picked up the snake to move it out of people's way and sight, but out of a mechanical reflex, the snake “gape and snap once more” with his jaws. Then the rancher realized that it had to be done in order to

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