Writing Techniques in Man Descending

Guy Vanderhaeghe
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Often the significance of a story hinges on a single image or a powerful twist in the action. In "The Watcher," the image that crystallizes the final irony is that of an Oriental statue. The boy puts the academic bully in mind of Padma-sambhava, the Hindu idol with close-set eyes that suggest concentration and intense inner vision. Ironically, it is the boy who, after witnessing every sordid incident in the story, makes the final decision to side with his grandmother against Thompson, and passes in the process from pastoral innocence to a rather risky adventure in the lower regions of experience.

In "Cages" the title is most expressive of the psychological mood of a story that moves from occupational discomfort to emotional and mental entrapment. The miner's cage and occupation become stark analogies for the young narrator's descent into his father's mind and heart.

Vanderhaeghe's technique is emblematic...

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This section contains 271 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Man Descending Short Guide
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