Figurative Language In At Breakfast

466 Words2 Pages
Gandhi stated that “there are people in this world that are so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread”. Through this quote, Gandhi perfectly portrays the quintessential lives of the starving gulag prisoners, working day in and day out, solely for a few pieces of bread. In the novel, the tone changes rapidly when food is present, to a warring and fiery scene. At breakfast, Solzhenitsyn strikes the reader, stating that “[Shukhov] started eating slowly, savouring [the food]…[and] if the roof burst into flames, he still wouldn’t hurry” (Solzhenitsyn 17). Solzhenitsyn uses imagery in this line to rapidly change the tone. He begins the scene by depicting Shukhov savouring, enjoying his food; constructing a gratifying tone.…show more content…
The short but concrete statement following the striking imagery elucidates to the importance of food, for Shukhov would perilously place it first in dangerous situations. Breakfast is not the only time Solzhenitsyn changes the tone when food is present, but also before dinner. The narrator constructs the scene outside the mess hall as a pile of “gangs...heaving and shoving...as though they were storming a fortress, taking the steps one at a time. Limpy held his staff across his chest like a barrier...and charged the front rank full-tilt...The steps were cleared...and limpy stood on the top step, laying down the law” (Solzhenitsyn 146-147). The narrator collides the reader with warring imagery in this line, changing the tone; signalling the reader to stop and recognize the chaos before dinner. The narrator cleverly compares the prisoners’ heaving and shoving to storming a fortress, and Limpy’s counterattack to charging the front ranks; thus constructing the allusion of a warlike confrontation. To finalize the warring scene, the narrator alludes to a victor, Limpy, who sets down the law that all prisoners must
Open Document