Essay on The Contribution of Stylistic Devices to the Effect of the Story

Essay on 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...

... middle of paper ...

...nglish Literature Vol.2.
New York, 2000.

Conrad, Joseph. The Nigger of the "Narcissus". The Norton Anthology of
English Literature Vol.2. 1954 - 1956.

Aczel, Richard. How to Write an Essay. Klett Verlag, 2003.

Baldick, Chris. Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms. Oxford:
University Press, 1996.

Charters, Ann, ed. Major Writers of Short Fiction. New York: St.
Martin's Press, 1993.

Conrad, Joseph. "The Secret Sharer". Major Writers of Short Fiction.
319 - 48.

Hanson, Clare, and Andrew Gurr. Katherine Mansfield. London:
MacMillan, 1981.

Mansfield, Katherine. The Collected Short Stories of Katherine
Mansfield. London: Penguin, 1981.

- - -. "Miss Brill". Collected Short Stories. 331-36.

May, Charles E., ed. The New Short Story Theories. Athens: Ohio UP,

Poe, Edgar Allan. "Poe on Fiction". The New Short Story Theories. 59 -

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