In Chapter 11 in the novel, ‘Bog Child’ by Siobhan Dowd, Fergus and his mum visit his brother, Joe in prison. In the extract, the author creates a dark and tense atmosphere by using negative imagery and various techniques to focus on the feelings of the characters during their journey and arrival to the prison. This allows the reader to experience the feelings of the characters.
Dowd creates a tense atmosphere during the drive towards the prison. The drive is described to be ‘long and winding’. The use of long vowel sounds within the words ‘long’ and ‘winding’ lengthen the journey to the prison to allow the characters to dwell on Joe and the hunger strike. The ‘roads had a thoughtful quietness’ this use of a short sentence portrays little to no traffic on the road. This also allows the characters to focus on the prison visit. This opening sentence for the passage allows the reader to think about the prison.
In the extract the author creates a dark and tense atmosphere by describing the scenery. The ‘clouds scampered over the hills’ while the ‘sun broke through fitfully’. Dowd’s us of pathetic fallacy by personifying both the cloud and the sun to represent the feelings of the characters. The verb ‘scampered’ illustrates how Fergus doesn’t want to be at the prison because of his fear of what might happen to his brother. The ‘clouds’ fleeing portray his uneasiness towards the prison. The phrase ‘broke through’ represents his mum and how she is trying to be optimistic towards the journey to the prison, specifically how Fergus’ feelings are negative and she is trying to overcome those feelings with hope. This use of negative imagery makes the reader feel and experience Fergus and his mum’s feelings.
Dowd creates a dark atmosphere as Fergus and his mum arrive at the prison. There, they see a ‘main gate [which] said “HMP Maze”. Herpes, Mastitis, Piles.’ The author’s use of rule of 3 gives a negative description of the prison. Fergus’ acrostic for the maze by using ‘Herpes, Mastitis, Piles’ reinforces the characters view of the prison and how they look down on it. The ‘HMP Maze’ is known to be a prison with such a bad name because even ‘the Nazis had wanted to bomb the place out of existence…’ This emphasizes how even the most despised group of people could fear this building. The focus on the sign makes the reader consider what Fergus and his mum are about to encounter as they enter the prison.
The author creates a tense atmosphere within the prison while the characters ‘waited… silently’, the author’s use of short sentences interprets the apprehension which the characters carry and their lack of interaction to emphasise how...