Half a Day Essay

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Brent has a Ph.D. in American Culture, specializing in cinema studies, from The University of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and teaches courses in American cinema. In the following essay, she discusses the use of descriptive and figurative language in "Half a Day."

Mahfouz makes skillful use of language in this concise, economic story. Describing the narrator's journey from home to the gates of the schoolyard, Mahfouz takes advantage of both descriptive and figurative language to convey the anxiety of the young boy on his first day of school.

Rich, descriptive language is used to describe the positive elements of the little boy's experience on this momentous day. His new clothes are described with a child's attention to color: "All my clothes were new: the black shoes, the green uniform, the red tarboosh."

When he first sets out with his father, his surroundings are described as...

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This section contains 1,467 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Half a Day Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Half a Day from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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