How does the author of the following extracts use language to convey changes and contrasts in mood and meaning.
In the passage ‘A Fable for Tomorrow’ Rachel Carson conveys changes in moods through a variety of methods. She attacks the reader’s senses using visual and audio descriptions, alliteration and the use of positive and negative wording and sentences. I will demonstrate how she achieves this through close analysis of the extract.
The title of the passage ‘A Fable for Tomorrow’ evokes morally instructive childhood fairytales in which characters typically learn lessons from others mistakes and through subtle messages. This is what I think the author is aiming for. Carson’s use of ‘tomorrow’ warns us what will happen if we do not take heed of her words.Order now
Throughout the first paragraph the reader’s visual senses are assaulted through imagery. ‘White clouds of bloom’ brings to mind cotton wool drifting above the different coloured fields during the spring. The author describes the changing of the seasons and the beginning of the paragraph brings to mind the traditional images of spring and the beginnings of new life. The paragraph uses positive language, long sentences, positive images, words and alliteration. ‘lamed and flicked’ makes you visualise the fiery colours of autumn, whilst the deer in the mist submerges you in an unspoiled wilderness. The strong wording of ‘seemed to live in harmony’ is important as Carson suggests it is hard for people to live in harmony with the countryside. The author goes on to describe a winter and in this community even winter is beautiful, ‘delighted the traveller’s eye’ and ‘the roadsides were places of beauty’.
The second paragraph begins very differently from the first with powerful words such as ‘blight’ which create a sense of foreboding. Shorter sentences become increasingly negative in tone and the alliterations evoke darker ‘mysterious maladies’. Fear is created with statements describing ‘much illness’ and ‘the shadow of death’ bringing about a sense of panic amongst a community living in fear and shock. Carson also plays on the reader’s maternal and paternal instincts by using children and showing that the unknown illness is indiscriminate; ‘the children would be suddenly stricken’ and ‘die within a few hours’.
The story is brought full circle with ‘it was a spring without voices’. This once again plays on the reader’s senses as they are forced to imagine a spring without birdsong; the countryside’s soundtrack. This brings to mind the death of the countryside and visual senses are played on with images of trembling birds, flapping around unable to fly.
The final paragraph tells the reader that this town does not exist but it could, echo the chapters title ‘A Fable for Tomorrow’. It warns the reader that unless they take action, what she has described will occur on a large scale in ‘a substantial number’ of communities. The use of the negative phrases ‘grim spectres’ and ‘tragedy’ drives home the need for action.
Carson manages to convey changes and contrasts in mood successfully through a number of methods; playing on the reader’s senses and instincts is the most powerful, used throughout the entire chapter, this makes the reader take notice of what she is saying. The strong wording and alliteration is another successful method of conveying her message. The positive, longer sentences at the beginning and the shorter, increasingly negative tone of the later strong end stopped sentences, creates strong contrasting moods and tell us what is happening.