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Commentary on Corkscrew. The following excerpt is from a short story titled Corkscrew by Dashiell Hammett written in 1925. The passage is written in first person and starts with a powerful metaphor Boiling like a coffeepot.

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Commentary on Corkscrew Rohan Bansal The following excerpt is from a short story titled 'Corkscrew' by Dashiell Hammett written in 1925. The passage is written in first person and starts with a powerful metaphor "Boiling like a coffeepot". It strikes the reader as a very strong metaphor as the word "Boiling" shows the brutal state of the narrator. This opening is remarkable due to fact that the narrator gets the reader right into the middle of the action and creates a sense of urgency due to way he describes the state he is in. Heat is mentioned a lot in the starting few paragraphs as the narrator struggles to cope up with the weather. Using repetition of "hotter" in the fourth paragraph shows the blistering heat shows this. He even mentions the sky as being "brazen" which is unusual as calling a constant object such as the sky shameless and audacious is unheard off. What this reflects is that the whole weather is so outlandish and preposterous that the narrator is questioning as to why the sky was torturing him in such a way and being so unsympathetic and unrestrained. ...read more.


There is the use of sibilance in the second paragraph "cactus-spiked sage studded". Sibilance is usually used to put focus on a particular thing, hence drawing attention to the sparse greenery and different plants. An underlying theme is of shady dealings and unfriendliness. This is visible due to the frosty welcome that the narrator gets from the cashier who is curt and very blunt also refusing water when the man clearly needs some. We see the open hostility of the people, as the only man he has a conversation with is gruff and rude. This reveals how he is all by himself and creates tension due to the curt and uneasy conversation he has with the cashier. There is an ominous air to what the drunk says "th' time hash come for yuh't give up y'r evils an' git out y'knittin." As if there are some underhanded dealings going in the town and is a rather insinuating welcome to the deputy sheriff. This sets up a ill boded tone to the passage. ...read more.


Consequently this creates an air of caution and fear and sets the mood of the passage. Leaving the readers with the feeling of distrust and creating a foreboding mood. The sentences are mostly short with heavy punctuation. This slows the rhythm down and gives the passage a short tempo making it more precise and a measure of time passing by very slowly in this unbearable heat. There are a large amount of paragraphs for a sixty nine-line passage. Which again slows the pace and can possibly show his fragmented thought process and how the sun has addled his mind and making it crawl and work rather slowly. It could also be due to the present company who are not very inviting or reflect his tiredness and his discomfort in the situation. Something to be noted is that in the last two paragraphs are not as punctuated and consist of longer sentences. This is also the only time when the narrator is away from the sun and alone which makes him comfortable and at ease resulting in him thinking freely and with no restrictions. ...read more.

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