Figures of Speech: Sunrise on the Veld

Irony- And he raised the gun, then he lowered it again. An irony is a phrase that seems to contradict itself. This phrase is an example of one because the reason the boy went out to the woods was to hunt and shoot, now he sees this dying buck and hesitates to shoot it. He knows that he could end it’s life right there but he still doesn’t. It is ironic that the boy goes out there too end something’ life but when given the chance, puts his gun down.


Personification- And the trees were showering a faint, silvery rain. Personification is when you give nonhuman objects human characteristics. As the boy walks through this tunnel, he’s experiencing trees give him a shower of crystals.


Metaphor- But by the time he had on his clothes his hands were numbed and he could scarcely hold his shoes. A comparison of two objects without using the words “like” or “as”. The comparison Lessing uses in this statement is the idea of the boy not wanting to wear his shoes and a sacrifice. It’s cold and the boy refuses to wear his shoes which resembles a sacrifice because there are risks yet he’s still doing it.


Paradox- And the exaltation and pride of mounted in him till he was shutting his teeth hard against a violent desire to shout his triumph. A contradicting statement that when explained may prove to be true. This statements is an example of a paradox because the boy even though he wants to shout out his power, he went to hunt and shouting would only ruin that opportunity. He wants control yet to stay in control he has to remain silent. It makes you ask yourself, is he really in control and contain all the power?


Juxtaposition- But also grimly satisfied with his stoicism. A juxtaposition is when two words close together are in contrasting effect. Grimly and satisfied, two words that contradict each other. Lessing’s use of these two words really shows the boy’s personality. The idea that you can be happy but in a mad way. The fact that there are many ants eating this buck alive and yet the boy is satisfied because he didn’t kill it. To be grimly satisfied is a way in which humans, even when mad have that little joy inside us.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email