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Graham Swift Writing Styles in Waterland

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A metaphor is an implied comparison in which one item symbolizes a dissimilar item. For example, the process of land reclamation in the fens is a metaphor of the process of human history. Humans continually try to create substance and order (land) on the amorphous, slippery nature of life (the marshes and the water). Humans are always building dykes (histories, stories of all kinds) to keep the emptiness and nothingness of existence (the essential nature of water) at bay. And telling coherent stories that satisfactorily explain the past is as difficult as the engineering projects that attempted to drain and stabilize the fens. Water is always striking back. It can never be fully defeated, just as behind the mask of history lies the terrifying prospect of naked existence, without story or explanation and so without comfort. The vast expanse and flat, featureless nature of the fens suggests such...

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This section contains 357 words
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Novels for Students
Waterland from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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