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Comparison of Once More to the Lake and The Grave

Authors often use details that evoke a response in readers to produce an effective description. Their aim is not simply to tell readers what something looks like but to show them. Katherine AnnePorters The Grave and E.B. Whites Once More to the Lake are essays that use subjectivelanguage to illustrate the principles of effective description. Porters The Grave describes achildish afternoon of rabbit hunting that brings death close enough to be seen and understood,while Whites Once More tot he Lake is a classic essay of persona; reminiscence in which herecreates the lakeside camp he visited with his son.One of the first things readers notice when they read Katherine Anne Porters The Gravewas her use of vivid details. Mirandas clothes are described in specific details: She was wearingher summer roughing outfit: dark blue overalls, a light blue shirt, a hired mans hat, and thickbrown sandals. Through her use of detail, Porter creates her dominant impression aboutMirandas feelings on female decorum as shameful. Porter describes Mirandas meeting with oldwomen. . . who smoked corn-cob pipes she met along the road:They slanted their gummy old eyes side-ways at the granddaughterand said, Aint you ashamed of yoself, Missy? Its aginst the Scriptures to dress like that. Whut yo Pappy thinkin about?By describing Mirandas reaction to the old womens questioning, Porter conveys the sense ofembarrassment Miranda felt. She describes Mirandas reaction by using a simile: with herpowerful social sense, which was like a fine set of antennae radiating from every pore of her skin . . . Miranda is ashamed because she knew it was rude and ill-bred to shock anyone althoughshe had faith in her fathers judgment and was perfectly comfortable in the clothes.Another example of Porters use of specific details is how she describes the dead rabbit. AsMirandas brother Paul stripped the skin away from the dead animal the flayed flesh emerged darkscarlet, sleek...

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