The Street By Ann Petry: A Summary

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For many characters, a new environment can be unfamiliar and unwelcoming. In her 1946 novel The Street, Ann Petry uses literary devices such as imagery, personification, and selection of detail to prove the hostile relationship between the elements and narrator Lutie Johnson. This environment is antagonistic in relation towards narrator Lutie Johnson, as it is intentionally stopping her and making her journey difficult. Authors use imagery to give a visual representation of the setting. As Lutie Johnson is walking down the street, the wind is against her as “It found all the first and dust and grime on the sidewalk and listed it up so the dirt got in their noses, making it difficult to breathe. The wine is purposefully trying to make the lives of those walking in the city more strenuous by hindering their ability to breathe. When Lutie Johnson arrives at her destination, she is greeted by an ominous sign, “where years of snow had finally eaten the paint down to the metal and rusted, making a dark stain like blood.” The fact that the color is described like blood reiterates the idea that the setting is unwelcoming and does not appreciate the narrator’s presence. Because of this, Lutie Johnson is uncomfortable in the new setting. …show more content…

In this excerpt, the wind is personified as a villain, as it “lifted Lutie Johnson’s hair away from the back of her neck so she felt suddenly naked and bald.” The wind purposefully makes Lutie feel vulnerable, as it exposes her to the cold elements. As Lutie makes her way through the city, the wind stays close behind her, “fingering it’s way along the curb.” The wind takes on human qualities in order to further a volatile relationship with the narrator. Lutie Johnson’s journey is much harder due to the presence of the

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