- Analyse how language techniques were used to stimulate an emotional response.
Emotions can rule someone’s mind. This realism can be thought provoking and bring out heavy emotional responses. Agatha Christie’s 1939 nail biting murder mystery “And then there were none” helps provide evidence towards this, done through the way intricate language features were used to stimulate emotional responses like hatred, empathy and anticipation. They were used well to describe characters’ intentions, the weather and characters’ mental states. Powerful language features like repetition, personification, sarcasm and rhetorical questions were all woven together to stimulate and bring these emotional responses out of the reader.
Personification was a well placed language feature used specifically to describe characters intentions such as Phillip Lombards. A quote backing this up would be when Vera Claythorne was describing what Lombard looked like “A Wolf-that’s what it is-a wolf’s face…”. By describing him as this wolf-like animal whose intentions were clearly to prey on her, a deep emotional response comes from the reader and is stimulated, this being a dislike. Using personification made Lombard come off as a less likable character or a villain in a sense and by the use of personification it really frames Lombard to be the killer and makes the reader side against him brewing this dislike or hostility, a strong emotional response.
Language techniques like personification and symbolism were used to bring the weather to life and depict mental states of the guests. A descriptive example of personification would be “The weather is changing. The wind is quite strong and there are white horses on the sea” said by Brent when explaining the weather, this depicted how alive the sea had become and foreshadowing that there was potentially trouble coming. By doing so stimulated the emotional response in the reader of tension and anticipation. An example of strong symbolism used as a technique would be “The wind howled against the side of the house.” It symbolized how there was a racket going on or some sort of quarrel. It can also be seen as personification as it says the winds howling, this also brings the gust of wind to life making it more lethal. This example depicting the weather also builds anticipation for the reader that there could be conflict arising.
The last way language features were displayed in the text were describing character mental states. Consisting of characters like Vera and Lombard. Some examples being when Vera says “I can’t bear it, I can’t go through another night” and “Don’t you see? We’re the zoo” The use of repetition in the first quote and a rhetorical question makes the reader sympathize for Vera as it seems an innocent person is going through hard times until you are told of what she did. It stimulates a strong emotional response of empathy within the reader making them connect more with her as a character. Another character whos mental state was described with language features was Phillip Lombard the use of repetition was stated again when describing how he felt about the group on the island, he said “It’s mad!- absolutely mad- we’re all mad!”. The use of repeating mad is particularly well used as it creates this sense of panic in his tone informing the reader that even though he is all hard and strong on the outside a part of him is scared, again stimulating that wide emotional response of empathy.
“And Then There Were None” written by Agatha Christie uses a wide range of language techniques such as personification, repetition, rhetorical questions and symbolism to invoke and stimulate powerful emotional responses like dislike, empathy and anticipation which in return can teach the reader a more deeper understanding of the characters and connect with them. The language techniques are used to describe the characters intentions, the weather and the characters mental states while on the island.