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The Contribution of Stylistic Devices to the Effect of the Story

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The perfection of a short story lies in the symbiosis between content

and form. Stylistic devices - especially imagery - contribute to the

effect of the story.

1 Introduction

The perfection of a short story lies in the symbiosis between content

and form. Stylistic devices - especially imagery - contribute to the

effect of the story, and according to Joseph Conrad "it is only

through complete, unswerving devotion to the perfect blending of form

and substance; it is only through an unremitting never-discouraged

care for the shape and ring of sentences that an approach can be made

to plasticity, to colour, and that the light of magic suggestiveness

may be brought to play for an evanescent instant over the commonplace

surface of words" (Conrad 1955).

Short stories often rely heavyly on imagery and visual language, for

the quite obvious reason that authors have very little space at their

hands to bring a subject to life, to give the audience a vivd

impression of it. Where a novelist can take any number of pages to

establish an atmosphere, develop a character, unfold a plot etc., the

author of a short story must make do with an extremely limited amount

of text and information. It is therefore necessary, in order to attain

intensity, to employ those stylistic devices that achieve an immediate

impact on the reader. In Katherine Mansfield's "Miss Brill" and Joseph

Conrad's "The Secret Sharer", symbolism prevails.

That is why I chose the topic of the importance of imagery for short

stories as theme of this paper. First of all, I will have a close look

at imagery in general; afterwards I will focus on "The Secret Sharer"

by Joseph Conrad and "Miss Brill" by Katherine Mansfield as examples

for the interact...

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