Figurative Language In Ann Petry's The Street

756 Words4 Pages
In literature, the setting poses itself as a vital element in literature. When characters interact with the world encompassing them and respond to its atmosphere, we unearth various underlining traits and secrets that ensconce betwixt the pages. Ann Petry's 1946 novel The Street accentuates the relation between Lutie Johnson and the urban setting by employing figurative language, such as imagery and personification conjointly with selection of detail. Petry promptly exploits imagery and figurative language to navigate us to a bustling town where an astringent wind is "rattl[ing] the tops of garbage cans, suck[ing] window shades out through the tops of opened windows and [sending] them flapping back against the windows." We expeditiously…show more content…
To reinforce the gravity of the situation, she elects her diction meticulously, noting how the wind "drove most of the people off the street . . . [with] its violent assault." Ordinarly, this relates closely to personification, but it primarily serves to establish the predominant nature of the wind as it endeavors to bollix the town deface the street. This selection of detail also magnifies Petry's imagery, enabling us to visualize the effect that the wind has on the people. Nevertheless, by exemplifying the disarray of the people, the author does not necessarily generate an image, but rather constitutes an understanding. Accordingly, Petry manipulates her selection of detail to symbolize the vandalism that the natural elements of the world can prevail when she notes that the "years of rain and snow had finally eaten the paint off down to the metal . . . making a dark red stain like blood." Finally, she concludes her passage with a detail that emphasizes the mercy that exists within the wind as it provides Johnson with the ability to read the sign which reveals that the building in front of her contains "steam heat, parquet floors, [and] respectable
Open Document