Comparing Foreshadowing in Train from Rhodesia and Dead Men's Path Essay

Comparing Foreshadowing in Train from Rhodesia and Dead Men's Path Essay

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Foreshadowing and Alliteration in Train from Rhodesia and Dead Men's Path




Authors often use literary devices to appeal to their audience without their awareness. By doing so, certain parts of a story or book will seem more important, in a very private way. They won't scream for attention, but they will stick, for they are catchy. Sometimes, authors are not aware that they are using a device to persuade their audience, it occurs naturally. Common literary devices and elements are metaphors, similes, alliteration, perhaps even couplet rhyming. Though foreshadowing is not necessary a literary device, it is often an element that many authors use in their work as well.  Foreshadowing through adjectives and alliteration are two devices used in both "The Train from Rhodesia" by Nadine Gordimer and "Dead Men's Path" by Chinua Achebe.


"The Train from Rhodesia" by Nadine Gordimer shows foreshadowing elements through it's adjectives and other important words. It alludes to the end mood of the story through adjectives used throughout. At the end of "The Train from Rhodesia", there is an overwhelming feeling of emptiness, perhaps even a persistent sadness. Throughout the story, many of the adjectives point to that. The words "pale" and "dead" in the sentence, "...on either side of a uniform railway vase with it's pale dead flower." (p. 909) and even the word "uniform" points to the emptiness which will prevail toward the end of the story. "Empty" may seem like a word to describe "the empty sand." (p. 910) but it also points to the emotion of the girl at the end. Words that show uncertainty, basted in melancholy occur all over the book, like "waiting", "wandered", "faint", "da...

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...more vibrant than a fulfilled smile, and the way a school should be run contains power within the statement. There is no doubt that Achebe did not use alliteration gratuitously, but to show the reader which elements of his story he feels are the most powerful-to serve a purpose.


"The Train from Rhodesia" by Nadine Gordimer and "Dead Men's Path" by Chinua Achebe both employed foreshadowing through adjectives and alliteration in their stories. The use of these devices was not to be charming, or cute, but to instill purpose and meaning to their stories. A story without purpose is simply meaningless drivel, and a story with a purpose that cannot be remembered because of a lack of devices is also equally as meaningless. The devices used in both stories illustrate the author's point as concisely as possible. Both stories have maintained their purpose.

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