The passage described Robert’s journey through the prairies and his different encounters. By using different literary techniques such as figurative devices and extensive diction, readers can detect a somber sense of longing while at the same time share the innocence and confusion that confronted Robert. The author’s effective use of diction displays not only the invisible force that is pulling these soldiers away but also the numbness that is inside their mind.
Verbs such as ‘tearing’, pushing’ and ‘stuttering’ conveys how the train is rapidly transporting them through the prairie, not letting any stoppage to admire the beautiful scenery that ‘heralded’ them. The only encounter with another human beings was silent and motionless, every soldiers ‘was frozen in there place’. They did not know what to do. They were stupefies at this sight. The author’s also enhances the confusion which occurs in these characters by emphasizing on the repetition of certain words.
For instance, “stood and stared” was used repeatedly throughout the passage: Robert tries very ard to understand everything around him but he only ‘stood and stared’ when he returned to his hometown; the Indians “stood and stared” at “ghostly” faces of the soldier in the train, trying hard to figure out their intentions while the soldier “stared” back at the Indians. All of these contribute to the overall atmosphere of the passage. The author enforces the the bewilderment by applying figurative language throughout the passage.
For example, he compares soldier’s faces “pressed against the window” to “ghosts hrough the frosted glass’ to heighten the blank and confused expression that’s on these soldiers faces. The sense of longing is well established through ‘slowly tearing them apart like paper torn in half’. It is almost as if they don’t want to leave these Indians, but at the same time they don’t know what to do if they stayed. They were forced to leave this place.
The author uses vivid imageries to contradict Robert’s memory of his town with the town of wartime to emphasize his confusion. Blasting red” versus “Gentle awning”. “Comforting shapes” versus ‘pall of smoke’. These conflicting portrayals of the town reflects all the changes that are taking place during the war. They confuse Robert’s innocent mind. They blemish his perfect memory of his hometown. Findley achieved his objective of bringing readers into the story by using third person. However, the author uses limited omniscient so the reader are only restricted to Robert’s perspectives. We are lead inside Robert’s head.
We can feel what he feels, see what he sees and question what he questions. Why should the Indians not be greeted standing by the railroad rack? ” “What had happened here? ” “Where, in this dark, was the world he’d know and where was he being talking to so fast that there wasn’t even time to stop? ” What? Why? Where? As Robert asks himself these questions, we ask ourselves as well. Except we know the answer while he does not. Therefore, we can very well sense his ingenuity and confusion. The author arrange this passage in chronological order to engage readers into the actions. He takes us on a train journey through the prairies.
First, as the train stopped in Regina, e encounter a group of Indians in the vast open where everyone is too numb to take any initiatives. Then, as they are being “torn apart’ from the station, we find ourselves “into the forest”, “past the Sleeping Giant”, “down the arms of rocks and rivers”, “heralded by steam and snow” and finally returned to “his city of birth”. This was the part where most of the simile and personification occurred in. The author did not specify any time frame for any part of the journey.
As Robert returns to his ‘city of birth’, there was no trance of excitement or gladness, nstead we are bombarded with images of smoke and fire, of darkness and sleeplessness. The passage is ended with myriad question plaguing Robert’s mind, questioning the whereabouts of his childhood sanctuary. The reader are likewise left in doubt and confusion. The different use of sentence structure and punctuation in this passage helps to attain the overall feeling of innocence. The passage starts off with simple compound sentences focusing mainly on what these soldiers saw.
There were no feeling or thoughts delivered. Emotionless. Only Robert “wanted everyone to raise an arm in greeting”, only he innocently “wondered why should the Indians not be greeted”. Along with a background setting of snow and wind, this reflects a sense of sadness resulting from desensitization. The whole description of scenery as the train transverse across the prairies was fit in to one complex sentence with occasional pause of using commas.
This suggest the swift movement and corresponds to Robert’s question at the end: “where was he being taken so fast there wasn’t even time to stop? The author’s continuous se of dashes serves the purpose of giving out more information and providing the interruptions needed to enhance the overall feeling of confusion and numbness. The author establishes the slight sense of sadness along with innocence and confusion throughout this passage via illustrious use of diction, elaborate details and divergent syntax. By these means, he have successfully achieved the intention of engaging the readers into the story and make us see, smell, feel and think like the characters within the story. As a result, we are left thoughtfully fascinate, educated, entertained.