Imagery And The Five Senses Essay

Imagery And The Five Senses Essay

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The ability to make the reader immersed in the story and the main character is the best thing to have when writing a piece. It helps the reader decide whether to keep reading or not. This ability is known as imagery. Imagery is writing with metaphors and the five sense, which creates a scene for the reader. Imagery is basically the way the author shows the reader what the main character or narrator is seeing. Janet Burroway, author of “Imaginative Writing”, which is a book about writing and the components of it, states that Image is, “An image is a word or series of words that evokes one or more of the five senses.” (Burroway, 15) Imagery is very important and good authors know how to use it to add more meaning and power to their literature. One poet, and poem, in particular uses imagery perfectly and by doing this she adds a lot of power behind her poem. The poet is Patricia Smith, and the poem is “Skinhead”.
“Skinhead” is a poem about a man who is a part of the group known as skinheads, also known as neo-Nazis. This man hates anything that is not white or does not live their life on the same beliefs he does. This poem is about life through the skinhead’s eyes and it shows his beliefs on things he sees. Patricia does a fantastic job of using imagery throughout her poem and she does a good job of making the reader feel like they are seeing life through the main character’s eyes. Her imagery is very effective because it not only evokes the five sense like Burroway stated, but it also adds more power behind her words.
One example of this is “I sit here and watch niggers take over my TV set, walking like kings up and down the sidewalks in my head, walking like their fat black mamas named them freedom.” (Smith) Her use of imagery p...


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... a more hatred in the interaction. If this line was apparent, the whole quote would not be so strong because the dialog gives the reader the reason why the main character is doing this if you already did not know why. The reader gets a strong sense of hatred and racism in this line and because the way she used it, the imagery of being in the alley listening to the main character say this to the victim, makes the quote so much stronger.
This piece by Patricia Smith is completely made of imagery and her use of it is extraordinary. Patricia does a fantastic job of evoking the 5 sense out of the reader, and that is what imagery really is. Imagery is great tool that should be used properly in all works of literature, because if it is used correctly, like Patricia Smith used it, then it adds so much power behind the author’s words making the literature that much better.


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