Journal Entries: Night Train by Clyde Edgerton Essay examples

Submitted By talanep
Words: 1960
Pages: 8

Journal Entries: The Night Train
“The boy leaned in at the open front door of the bar. From inside he looked like a dark stamp on the bright daylight behind him.” (pg. 6).
Edgerton uses this simile to bring description to the setting inside the bar without seeming to be attempting to describe it. His depiction of the boy and the daylight outside describes the interior of the bar indirectly.
“He remembered something about that family with the names. What’s your whole name? he asked. Larry Lime Beacon of Time Reckoning Breathe on Me Nolan. He raised an eyebrow. They call me Larry Lime.” (pg. 6).
The author uses the fact that the Nolan family is recognized for having a specific trademark, which lets the reader know that reputations and family are well known in the town. Also, the frivolous name humanizes the character and makes the reader feel connected to him. At this point, the reader does not know how the name originated but is made curious to learn more.
“Larry Lime’s eyes stayed on his hands but his face reflected a crystal ball.” (pg. 8).
Although he continued to look at his hands and play as he had been, the joy of learning more was reflected in his face and it implies he could begin to see a future in music.
“As he walked, Larry Lime was trying to feel, see, to somehow experience a different color for each interval.” (pg. 10).
Larry Lime seems to feel music and rhythm in a way different from ordinary people. He is developing his sense of music beyond just hearing.
“He heard a late-day train, looked south along the track, and saw the engine headlight far away, bright in the early evening, shining its figure-eight pattern.” (pg. 11).
This feels like it is possibly a foreshadowing of “a light at the end of the tunnel” or something he is looking forward to. Could it be referring to changing racial relations or simply to the start of his musical lessons?
“Dwayne didn’t quite know if he should ask Larry Lime to shoot or not. He wondered if Flash Acres had left for the day. Sometimes he stayed late.” (pg.12).
Although Dwayne likes Larry Lime, he is unsure about what is acceptable between them and seems unsure about whether to approach the subject. On the one hand, he seems to know he would ask any white friend to shoot with him but he finds himself wondering what Flash, the racist foreman, would think if he saw them fraternizing.
“He said, We could figure out where would be the best part in the movie to drop the chicken. How many minutes in. Or, thought Dwayne, how come Larry Lime’s got to be in on it? No need to chance that. Mickey Dean would want to help Dwayne drop the chicken. (pg. 14).
Larry Lime has come up with a great prank that he shares with Dwayne. If race weren’t an issue the two boys could do the prank together, as typical friends would. However, Dwayne feels compelled to involve another white friend and leave Larry Lime to pull the prank at the black theater. Neither boy really questions the unfairness of having to act separately.
“They passed big, open fields of freshly planted tobacco, soybeans, and corn. Barns, ponds, stretches of hardwood and pine.” (pg. 15).
Edgerton depicts the setting of a rural southern farming community. His choice of seemingly incomplete sentence structure points to the laid back nature of the environment.
“Jobs for many men and women in Starke, Prestonville, and Whittier—white women worked in the home, generally, as did a few black women—were at Sears (white), selling cars in Whittier (white), as clerks in the black-run stores in Prestonville (black), selling insurance (white, one black) …” (pg. 19).
In describing the community, Edgerton is careful to depict that racial lines were not only obvious but were firmly established and accepted in virtually every area of life—not just where a person lived.
“The plantation loading station at the railroad tracks had rotted, melded, disappeared into the ground and under vines in a slow-motion sequence that took about a