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Imagery Classwork
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Imagery Classwork

Imagery A
Consider:
The many men, so beautiful
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.
--- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
Discuss:
1. These stanzas from the “the Rime of the Ancient Mariner” show the Mariner’s changing attitude toward the creatures of the sea. What is the Marine’s attitude in the first stanza? What image reveals this attitude?
The Mariner refers to the men as “beautiful.” He uses the visual and tactful image of “a thousand tiny things” to describe the monster. The image of the “slimy” monster suggests a creature that is frightening, disgusting, and horrific.
2. What is the Mariner’s attitude in the second stanza? Analyze the imagery that reveals this change.
The Mariner’s attitude to the monsters is one of awe and fascination in the second stanza. Visual images such as rich attire,” “coiled and swam,” and “flash of golden fire” demonstrate that the fact that the speaker has now turned his attention away from the dead men and noticed the fascinating beauty of the sea monsters.
Imagery B
Consider:
And now nothing but drums, a battery of drums, the conga drums jamming out, in a descarga, and the drummers lifting their heads and shaking under some kind of spell. There’s rain drums, like pitter-patter but a hundred times faster, and then slamming-the-door-drums and dropping-the-bucket drums, kicking-the-car-fender-drums. Then circus drums, then coconuts falling-out-of-the-trees-and-thumping-against-the-ground drums, then lion-skin drums, then the wacking-of-a-hand-against-a-wall-drums, the-beating-of-a-pillow-drums, heavy-stones-against-a-wall-drums, then the thickest-forest-tree-trunks-pounding-drums, and then the-mountain-rumble-drums, then the little-birds-learning-to-fly drums and the big-birds-alighting-on-a-rooftop-and-fanning-their-immense-wings drums…
- Oscar Hijuelos, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
Discuss:
1. Read the passage. How does Hujuelos create the auditory imagery of drumming? In other words, how do the words imitate the sounds they represent?
In Hujuelos’s passage, he illustrates the sound of drums with familiar sounds. For example he uses “rain drums, like pitter-patter but a hundred times faster, and then slamming-the-door-drums and dropping-the-bucket drums, kicking-the-car-fender-drums” and theses are all sounds we are familiar with and can hear in our head as we read the passage.
2. Hujuelos repeats the word then eight times in the passage. What does this repetition contribute to the auditory image of the drumming?
By adding then eight times you create multiple images. IT spread out the imagery and allows you to hear each sound in your head before moving onto the next auditory images.
Imagery C
Consider:
She looked into the distance, and the old terror flamed up for an instant, then sank again. Edna heard her father’s voice and her sister Margaret’s. She heard the barking of an old dog that was chained to the sycamore tree. The spurs of the cavalry officer clanged as he walked across the porch. There was the hum of bees, and the musky odor of pinks filled the air.
Discuss:
1. Although the narrator “looks into the distance,” the images are primarily auditory. What are the auditory images in the passage? What mood do these images create?
The author uses auditory images such as, “her father’s voice and her sister Margaret’s. She heard the barking of an old dog that was chained to the sycamore tree. The spurs of the cavalry officer clanged as he walked across the porch. There was the hum of bees.” The auditory images give us a peaceful, quiet feeing, but the fact that she feels terror makes you want to know why. For example, why is the calvary officer coming and why is the dog barking?
2. The last sentence of this passage contains an olfactory image (the musky odor of pinks full the air). What effect does the use of an olfactory image, after the series of auditory images, have on the reader?
The use of “the musky odor of pinks fill the air” creates a stuffy kind of atmosphere. A think, stingy odor comes to my mind. The imageries have been soft and gentle up until then, and then the pink air creates and uncomfortable, stuffy atmosphere. When one ends, another one begins.
Imagery D
Consider:
It was a mine town, uranium most recently. Dust devils whirled sand off the mountains. Even after the heaviest of rains, the water seeped back into the ground, between stones, and the earth was parched again.
-Linda Hogan, “Making Do”
Discuss:
1.) What feelings do you associate with images of dusty mountains and dry earth?
With the images of dusty mountains and dry earth, I get the image of some sort of desert. It makes my throat thirsty just to think of the hot, water draining desert.
2.) These are two images associated with land in the third sentence. Identify the two images and compare and contrast the feelings these images evoke.
“Even after the heaviest of rains, the water seeped back into the ground, between stones, and the earth was parched again” shows us two images. One of the images is “the earth was parched” and then the second imagery is “water seeping back into the ground.” The difference is that the earth in this desert drinks up all the water at a remarkable speed, and the second imagery gives you a visualization of the earth having no water and being dry.

Imagery E
Consider:
A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells
- T.S. Eliot, “ The Waste Land”
Discuss:
1.) Paraphrase the image of the first two lines. What mood does the image create?
The first two lines give you the image of a woman putting her dark hair up and begin to play a soft instrument late at night. This creates a soft, gentle mood, and it is a very calming and relaxing atmosphere.
2.) List the auditory images in these lines. How do these images help create the mood of the passage?
There are many auditory images such as: “whisper music on those strings,” “whistled, and beat their wings,” “Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours,” and “voices singing out of empty cisterns.” These images create a quiet, almost scary kind of atmosphere you do not receive from the first two lines, it creates an eerie kind of silence.

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