The first thing that one notices about the passage is the setting. The story is set during a stormy, rainy night which creates a somber mood generally. The weather is cold, and the character in the story is startled by the sound of thunder. The second thing one notice about the passage is the mood of the character Madam Pam. The passage says that “the lightning was striking on the ground as if to remind her that she had storms of her own to weather.” When a person feels that she has storms to weather, it means that they are going through a tumultuous time that might require a lot of patience and resilience to overcome. These two elements in the passage complement each other in that the storm can signify a somber or sad mood and as it turns out, Madam Pam is lonely, and she feels like she has to fight this loneliness on her own following the death of her husband.
Diction is a style of writing that is determined by the choice of words or sentence structures of an author (Long and Richard 253). The passage or short story uses very subtle vocabulary. The language is quite straightforward and does not contain words or phrases that require the use of a dictionary by an average student or reader. The only words that may be foreign to an average reader are ‘dreaded and retreated.’ To dread is to have great fear or anxiety about something. In the passage, Madam Pam dreaded the times when she would have to sit in the cold without her husband to keep her company. She feared being alone on cold and stormy nights. To retreat is the act of pulling away or withdrawing from a situation. In the passage, after having a conversation with Eva, Madam Pam is said to have retreated to her bed. It means that she was withdrawing or pulling herself away from the loneliness of that day and going to bed with hopes for a better day the following day.
Discerning patterns are ways of finding common things or threads in separate things or events that are taking place within a story (Menninghaus et al., 52). The mental images in the passage remind a reader of the time when Madam Pam had just lost her husband. On that particular day, it had also rained, and that was when Madam Pam received the news about the death of her husband. The image in the passage does not, however, represent the general story in the book. At the end of it all, after the conversation with Eva, Madam Pam realized that if she continued with the pity party, she would end up depressed and emotionally lonely for the rest of her life. She eventually picked herself up and decided to accept her husband death and the fact that she was alone and had to deal with the situation. Her mood changed for the better in the rest of the story. The sentence pattern is quite typical with most of the sentences making correct and cohesive meanings. The passage uses two styles of storytelling. It uses narration and dialogue. What is left silent however is the reason why Eva keeps telling Madam Pam that she should not drink. A reader is left to wonder whether she has a drinking problem or any other condition that did not require for her to drink.
Point of view and characterization
In literature, the point of view is an angle employed by an author to show the feelings or opinions of characters involved in a particular situation. The author uses a point of view to let the readers feel, hear, or see the events that take place in a story or poem (Menninghaus et al., 57). From the passage, Madam Pam is seen as someone who is lonely and at the verge of a breakdown. It is said that she had just lost her husband and the storm and rain frightened her making her feel even lonelier. Madam Pam’s state makes a reader feel sympathetic. Madam Pam speaks to Eva who seems to be a loyal servant. The narrator in the passage seems to be omniscient because he seems to know precisely the reason why Pam is not allowed to drink and seems to understand the feelings the Madam Pam had regarding the death of her husband. The narrator seems to know Madam Pam’s fears although the reader does not.
Symbolism is an artistic, literary style of using symbols, images, words, or indirect suggestions to express ideas, state of mind, or emotions in a poem or story (Derrida 12). The passage uses symbolism in the form of metaphors and similes. For example, in the first paragraph, the author says that “the cold air stabbed through her skin like thorns.” The author compares the harsh cold weather to thorns that can be very painful when they enter the skin. The author also uses the phrase ‘pin-dropping silence.’ This phrase shows that the room was so silent that one could hear a pin drop. The storm and the cold rainy weather represent the sad and conflicted emotional state of Madam Pam. Traditionally; storms were seen as a symbol of disaster to come.