Figurative Language In A Horseman In The Sky

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A Horseman in the Sky is a short story of a young boy, Carter Druse, leaving his father and sick mother to join forces with the Union in the Civil War. In the story, the soldier is assigned to a command post where his duty is to watch over the long wooded valley leading to enemy troops. Upon his post of command, Druse lays face down sleeping in the midst of the war. A lone enemy soldier on a stallion approaches after Druse finally comes to, and he is forced to take action. The enemy soldier, being his father, Druse commits to his troops and shoots his father. The author of the story, Ambrose Bierce used a vital technique in writing this story to get readers to feel like they are a part of the story. Ambrose Bierce uses imagery in this story…show more content…
With this visual the reader can only imagine Druse lying face down sleeping, with his right arm on his rifle and head resting upon his left. With this image of the soldier, Bierce describes the scenery around him. He uses figurative language to get the readers to imagine a long valley with high cliffs, a road zigzagging down the valley, an open meadow with enemy soldiers, and a large flat rock overlooking it all where Druse lies at his post. He then goes on to explain the reasoning for the enemy troops being concealed in the valley in, what Bierce calls, “a military rat-trap.” He then goes backwards and narrates how Druse joins the union and how his family feels about him serving against his own state. Bierce uses this moment between him and his father as a turning point in the story. He gives the reader a visual moment of betrayal. He does this by giving details about his father’s feelings towards his son joining such as, when Bierce quotes his father and says, “Go, Carter, and whatever may occur, do what you conceive to be your duty. Virginia, to which you are a traitor, must get on without you. Should we both live to the end of the war, we will speak further of the matter.” With this you can visualize a father, mending a broken heart with a salute and wish of good luck. Carter then leaves his family and commended himself to his fellows and…show more content…
The author, Bierce, put a lot of feeling and detail into this part of the story. He makes Carter replay the response his father gave him upon leaving to fight in the war. He uses this part of the story to show how the war can affect families and drive then to opposing sides. Carter, now preparing his mind, body, and soul, into completing his duty to kill any enemy soldier and alert his troops. Bierce makes Carter very accepting and more relaxed as he has to shoots his father. He fires his weapon at the horse. The horse and horseman were sent flying off the side of the cliff. Bierce couldn’t let Druse be I this moment alone, so he describes how a Federal officer was creeping in bushes during the time of the incident. Though, the officer wasn’t aware of what was going on, only seeing a horseman in the sky, Bierce brings him into the conclusion of the story with a conversation between him and Carter. Ambrose Bierce, ends the story with the image of Carter at his command post back in position with his Sargent rising from the ground in amazement as to what just happened. Bierce used this image to unfold exactly who the soldier was on the horse by having Carter being forced to tell command it was his father he had
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