An analysis of a passage from cormac mccarthy s novel the crossing
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An Analysis of a passage from cormac mccarthy’s novel the crossing. “The moon is rising and I’ll never be alone/Wolves will take me home” - “Wolves” by The Good Natured. Theme Statement.

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An Analysis of a passage from cormac mccarthy’s novel the crossing

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An analysis of a passage from cormac mccarthy s novel the crossing

An Analysis of a passage from cormacmccarthy’s novel the crossing

“The moon is rising and I’ll never be alone/Wolves will take me home”

- “Wolves” by The Good Natured


Theme statement

Theme Statement

  • Through physical immersion and embracing nature, the main character is able to reach spiritual enlightenment.


Literary elements

Literary elements

  • Christian Imagery

  • Polysyndeton

  • Juxtaposition

  • Point of View

  • Tones

  • Repetition

  • Anaphora


Christian imagery and polysyndeton

Christian imagery and polysyndeton

  • “He got the fire going and lifted the wolf from the sheet and took the sheet to the creek and crouched in the dark and washed the blood out of it and brought it back and he cut forked sticks from a mountain hackberry and drove them into the ground with a rock and hung the sheet on a trestlepole…” (lines 15-20)


Images of christian death ritual

Images of Christian death ritual

  • “…took the sheet to the creek…”

  • “…crouched in the dark and washed the blood out of it…”

  • Christian imagery foreshadows the main character’s realization of the spiritual world.

  • This ritual of death and polysyndeton shows the narrator’s restrained feelings towards death.


Juxtaposition

Juxtaposition

  • “…and drove them into the ground with a rock and hung the sheet on a trestlepole where it steamed in a wilderness where celebrants of some sacred passion had been carried off by rival sects or perhaps had simply fled in the night at the fear of their own doing.” (lines 19-24)

  • Juxtaposition is indicative of the main character’s conflict between the physical and spiritual world.


Point of view

Point-of-view

  • “He pulled the blanket about his shoulders and sat shivering in the cold and waiting for the dawn that he could find the place where he would bury the wolf” (lines 24-27)

  • “…put his hand upon her bloodied forehead and closed his own eyes that he could see her running in the mountains, running in the starlight…” (lines 42-45)


Changing point of view

Changing Point of View

  • Point of view changes in line 40 from an impartial observer to a third party limited, representing the main character’s shift from the physical world to the spiritual.


An analysis of a passage from cormac mccarthy s novel the crossing

Tone

  • “He fell asleep with his hands palm up before him like some dozing penitent” (lines 31-32) – repentant

  • Repentant tone emphasizes the fact that he feels upset that he feels bad and guilty that the wolf died. He is partially absolved of this when he realizes the wolf is only dead in the physical world but is still alive in the spiritual world.


Tone 2 return of the tone

Tone 2: return of the tone

  • “He looked for the horse but could not see it” (line 36) – literal

  • The literal tone stresses the main character’s connection to the physical world.


Repetition

repetition

  • “…put his hand upon her bloodied forehead and closed his own eyes that he could see her running in the mountains, running in the starlight…” (lines 42-45)

  • Emphasizes the shift between the physical and spiritual sensation of running, “running” from the physical world to the spiritual world


Tone 3 revenge of the tone

Tone 3:Revenge of the Tone

  • “Where she ran the cries of the coyotes clapped shut as if a door had closed them and all was fear and marvel” (lines 51-53) – elegiac, reverent

  • The elegiac and reverent tone accentuates the main character’s respect and admiration for the wolf, and how he wants to give her a proper burial because he knows that she’s in a “better place” now.


Juxtaposition 2 the juxtaposition wars

Juxtaposition 2:The juxtaposition wars

  • “He took up her stiff head…and held it or he reached out to hold what cannot be held…” (lines 53-55)

  • Contrasts the physical to the spiritual


Anaphora

anaphora

  • “What blood and bone are made of but can themselves not make on any altar nor by any wound of war. What we may well believe has power to cut and shape and hollow out the dark form of the world surely if wind can, if rain can.” (lines 57-61)

  • Repeated use of “What” (capitalized) is the narrator trying to capture the essence of how he feels. He doesn’t have a name for it, but he is still trying to capture it.


Connection to gary soto s summer life

Connection to Gary Soto’s Summer Life

  • Gary Soto’s Summer Life is a story of how Soto changed from vaguely spiritual to physical.

  • In contrast, the main character in The Crossing transforms from having physical mourning to spiritual joy.


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