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How successful is the opening of Broken April?

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Introduction

How successful is the opening of 'Broken April'? In his novel 'Broken April', Kadare uses many literary techniques in order to create a powerful, tense opening to introduce the reader to the factual situation and the characters, without giving them any emotional detail to suggest the reasons behind their actions. This is shown through the use of pathetic fallacy, and the lack of description of anything that is too personal, such as characters (other than their name) or their feelings. Through this, Kadare intends to shock the reader with how the concept of death could be described so factually with no apparent emotional guilt which is attached, which then contrasts the rest of the novel when more contextual information and character development is revealed. ...read more.

Middle

This is again highlighted through the use of "fading light". Another way in which pathetic fallacy is used in order to build tension is through the use of winter, and coldness in particular. The state of being cold is normally connected with being numb, which is what Gjorg is described as having with his "numbed legs", however, in addition to being physically numb, Kadare could also be hinting to the reader that the numbness felt by Gjorg is also emotional, where again, he does not appear to feel anything considering what he is about to do. This, in itself, is a very shocking concept to the reader, especially considering one of the first things that is mentioned in the piece is the "rifle's stock". ...read more.

Conclusion

This contrasting imagery and symbolism shows the complexity of the situation, and therefore shows that the factual information that we have been given as explained in my previous point is not the whole story, thus making us contemplate our subconscious tendency to find a conclusion to a story that has barely even begun yet. Through these devices, I think that Kadare has been very successful in creating an opening to a novel which makes the reader question themselves and their thoughts, before even surpassing the second page. Additionally, the use of pathetic fallacy in order to symbolise the cycle of life provides premonition for death to come, which may make us feel uncomfortable, but also hope through the connections to spring in the pomegranates. ...read more.

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