Wednesday, December 8, 2010



Contrasting views are apparent as N.S. Momaday and D. Brown describe a similar landscape. This is evident in their use of diction, syntax, imagery, and tone. The authors ultimately convey diverging purposes resulting from the literary devices that they utilize. Momaday's passage reveals a high level of contentment and satisfaction of the land. Brown's composition shows the contrary, he sees the land as unsuitable and unsustainable.

Momaday immediately establishes a personal tone when he associates the landscape as “(his) people, the Kiowas.” He personifies the landscape as a “single knoll (that) rises out of the plain.” The word “rises,” ultimately brings the land to life, supporting his personal tone. Momaday describes the weather of the land to be the “hardest weather” in the world. He then continues to support his claim with words and phrases such as, “hot tornadic winds,” and “brittle” and “brown” grass. The words associated with heat and dryness create a vivid picture. This provides imagery to portray an intense landscape. Although he describes the weather and landscape as extreme, he seems to embrace the harsh climate. To Momaday, the plains are a home, and a comfort, despite it's harsh climate. This is evident because of his relaxed tone. As Momaday describes tortoises who live on the land, he says they are “going nowhere in plenty of time.” He asserts that in the land “there is no confusion.” This phrase implies that there is no confusion because of the simplicity of the land. This is significant as he continues to suggest that in the morning the land has the power to “lose sense of proportion.” The remarkable aspects of the land, to Momaday, have value.

Brown expresses frustration with the landscape in which “everything had turned bad.” He portrays a unpleasant and overwhelmed tone as he describes the land. Brown refers to the “whirlwind” grasshoppers and the “parched” grass. These words demonstrate the land is not suitable. He describes an “endless desolation of bones and skull.” This fulfills imagery associated with death. Brown establishes that the land is unideal because it cannot sustain life. Tribes “roamed restlessly” because the land has nothing to offer. The word “restlessly” suggests that the land has an uneasiness to it. Compared to Momaday's relaxed tone, Brown portrays and anxious landscape. The plains, to Brown, have no value.

Although both passages incorporate a general theme of “loneliness” and “desolation,” the landscape is interpreted with variance. Momaday embraces the solitude, while Brown despises it. The land offers nothing to Brown, nut a world of invitation to Momaday. These oppositions are conveyed through the literary devices of each of the authors. Diversity of diction of syntax greatly affect the purpose that the author intends to reveal. This is apparent in the distinctions that Momaday and Brown make of the same landscape.

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