Repetition, Diction, and Simile in Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing
In Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Crossing, there is a dramatic sequence described by the narrator. The author uses many different techniques to convey the impact of the experience on the narrator. Some of these such techniques are: repetition, diction, and simile.
Of the aforementioned techniques, the most obvious is repetition. The author uses the word “and” a total of thirty-three times. However, the simple usage of the word is not what is to be noticed. It is the placement of the word that is interesting. In sentences in which there is mention of the wolf, the word “and” is used twenty times. This amount is 150% higher than the amount of times the author chose to include the word “and” in sentences which did not mention the wolf. There are times in which it would be just as easy, if not easier, for the author to leave out the word “and”. For example, McCormac could have said: “he touched the cold, perfect teeth”. However, “and” was again squeezed in for the purpose of repetition. A possible reason for this is that the author wanted to give the reader the same feeling the narrator had: one of total mental exasperation and exhaustion. When discussing the wolf, the author uses run-ons to string together ideas in much the same way a person under intense mental or emotional stress would. Also, the repetition of the word “and” mimics a child. The failure to pause to form the sentences correctly gives the impression of a child telling a story; not so much worried about the grammatical structure, but more focused on the matter at hand. This immature and juvenile form of writing conveys the narrators loose presence of mind at this time.
Diction is also an important literary technique that McCormac uses to communicate the impact of the experience on the narrator. In the opening...