Sunday, March 9, 2008

All The Pretty Horses

The book we are reading in class is called All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. We recently learned how to use the TWIST method when analyzing a particular passage. T stands for tone, W for word choice, I for imagery, S for style, and T for theme or thematic idea. Here is an example of the TWIST method used to help analyze the following passage...

"The western sections ran into the Sierra de Anteojo to elevations of nine thousand feet but south and east the ranch occupied part of the broad barrial or basin floor of the bolson and was well watered with natural springs and clear streams and dotted with marshes and shallow lakes or lagunas. In the lakes and in the streams were species of fish not known elsewhere on earth and birds and lizards and other forms of life as well all long relict here for the desert stretched away on every side" (McCarthy 97)

Tone: mysterious, new and unknown, content

Word Choice: words like "clear", "species...not known", "on earth", and "stretched" help to express the author's tone. No sad words are used and its as if this description of John Grady and Rawlins' new home presents them with a new beginning. A fresh start, full of mystery and change.

Imagery: the word choice presented above help the author to create imagery for his readers. The use of very descriptive run-on sentences (style) help the reader become immersed into the setting, so as they can almost picture it. The imagery is also somewhat mysterious and new, enough is revealed that one can clearly picture the setting, but some is also hidden to make the readers want to learn more about this new land.

Style: McCarthy has a particular style to his writing where he lacks much punctuation, and uses a lot of run-on sentences. This style is hard to get used to, but after a while the words just flow and bring the reader deeper into the story, and soon you don't even notice the lack of punctuation.

Thematic ideas: mystery, adventure, a new beginning

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