Passage 1 Outline
1. Warren constructs the narrator’s tone of detached loneliness through the description of the passing countryside.
a. The switch from first-person to second-person pronouns in the final two paragraphs enhances the tone of detached loneliness by suggesting that Jack Burden does not want to feel the emotions he is experiencing. Instead, he pretends that the reader is the one involved in the scene.
i. “The local I rode…”
ii. “I watched the cotton rows…”
iii. “And all at once, you think that you are the one who is running…”
iv. “And all at once you feel like crying.”
b. The animalistic imagery and a rough word choice used to describe the train’s surroundings adds to the tone by causing the surrounding countryside to appear wild and savage. Therefore, Burden feels separated from his environment.
i. “humped and sage-furred country which seemed ready to slide in and eat up the houses.”
ii. “through a stubborn cloying destiny of air as though an eel tried to swim through syrup”
iii. “You think that if the earth should twitch once, as the hide of a sleeping dog twitches, the train would be jerked over and piled up and the engine would spew and gasp while somewhere a canted-up wheel would revolve once with a massive and dreamlike deliberation.”
iv. “snatch” “tattered” etc.
c. The use of pathetic fallacy emphasizes Burden’s feelings of loneliness by projecting his feelings onto the passing countryside. This furthers the tone of detached loneliness.
i. “black stub of a burnt tree in the middle distance up out of the cotton rows.”
ii. “The houses didn’t look as though they belonged there, improvised, flung down, ready to be abandoned.”
iii. “cow standing in the water upstream near the single leaning willow.”
2. Through of the language used in this passage, the narrator’s tone is revealed as detached loneliness. This tone serves as a tool to further characterize Burden as a contemplative man who tends to meditate on his surroundings. Burden also seems to notice more dismal details than the average person does, indicating his pessimistic view of life.
Passage 2 Outline
1. Warren characterizes Adam Stanton as a charitable man who would rather live in poverty than