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Word Count: 1,050
In this excerpt from The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy the subject has killed a wolf and is presently brooding over his feelings regarding the fallen creature His thoughts are displayed in a rather convoluted manner many of which offset one another and can cause confusion for the reader Fortunately through the usage of diction syntax and imagery McCarthy helps to convey the impact that the experience of the situation has on the main character Diction plays an enormous role in expressing the impression the wolfs death and circumstances surrounding it has on the subject From the onset the author establishes a dramatic mood by describing the scenery as having talus sides Line 1 and tall escarpments Line 2 As the passage progresses the passion of the choice of words increases Such is exemplified in Lines 57 and 58 when the author states What blood and bone are made of but can themselves not make on any alter nor by any wound of war Such a quote implies that the elemental make-up of a body can create the shell of a creature but no act of man can bring back a soul to fill the casing The terms blood bone and wound of war are all very fervent and poignant expressions Their usage conveys the gravity of the quote itself The utilization of a simple two-lettered word held great meaning to one particular line of the passage He took up her stiff head out of the leaves and held it or he reached to hold what cannot be held Lines 53 - 55 The placement of or implies that the subject is confused about his own emotions but the situation indicates that they are strong Simply holding the wolfs corpse in his arms is an attainable feat but the second half of the previous quote seems to suggest that that subject is reaching for life in death an impossibility that many strive for The authors choice
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