Monday, 12 September 2016
Smoke And Geese
""The furnace belched smoke and sparks into a sky thick with geese heading southward. Their honking sounded forlorn through the rumble of burning iron." (p. 65)
The geese are probably no more forlorn than usual - unless the smoke, sparks and rumbling bother them? But they sound forlorn to a human ear. Why? The furnace represents increased human domination of the environment. In particular, it is being used to produce guns because war with Europe is imminent. Technological destruction has been imported into the ancient world. Bad news. But we also see that the Nantucketers have a peaceful, thriving community when they are not having to fight the renegades. And what figure of speech is being deployed when the honking sounds forlorn?