The Crossing Essay
From this excerpt of Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Crossing, the reader is thrown into a very emotional and passionate account that creates a significant impact on both the audience and the main character. Through relating the situation with sacrificial diction, in depth imagery, and a tone that reflects both grief and guilt, McCarthy conveys this impact through an unmatched respect for the wilderness and an understanding of its value.
In order to reflect such strong emotions, McCarthy utilizes various words and phrases that introduce a sense of ceremony and sacrifice. It is through this choice of diction that McCarthy begins to demonstrate the importance and impact that the experience has on the man. As the character goes about his various tasks, McCarthy compares a drying sheet to a “burning scrim” surrounded by celebrants of a “sacred passion” (21-22). In this way, the man’s actions and surroundings are related in such a way that, as they denote this sense of ceremony, create a feeling of profound respect and remorse. Further on, McCarthy extends this unique use of diction as he describes a world “ordained by God” (50). It is through these words that McCarthy introduces the idea that the event at hand is more than just an emotional experience but more of a spiritual account as McCarthy brings a direct correlation to religion. In this respect, McCarthy’s choice of words are important in the way they stress the senses and emotions of the man, allowing the reader to see through his own eyes and understand the importance of the situation as seen by him.
McCarthy is able to continue to stress these strong emotions by focusing on his use of imagery as well. In a large sense, McCarthy’s descriptions go further than just creating a visual for the reader to indulge in but rather to emphasize the mental state of the man. In the opening paragraph, the emphasis on in-depth imagery is seen as McCarthy depicts the “grassy swales’ and “dark shapes on...