Amanda HardyENGL 2332Dr. Geoffrey GrimesJune 9, 2015“Three Dirges” The Guatemalan Civil War, which lasted approximately 36 years was a war between the Government of Guatemala and the rural poor. In relation to the subject, Wikipedia states that “The government forces of Guatemala have been condemned for committing genocide against the Mayan population of Guatemala during the civil war and for widespread human rights violations against civilians.
” Being about the horrors from the Guatemalan Civil War, the imagery used in “from ‘Three Dirges’” from the novel “Requiem Guatemala” by Marshall Bennett Connelly, creates a mood that reflects the emotions and feelings of those affected by the war. In the text of “from ‘Three Dirges’’, Connelly repetitively uses imagery to connect the reader with the feelings and emotions of the people living during the Guatemalan Civil War. The first example of imagery could be compared to the common “It was a dark and stormy night” intro. It states, “.
..the little village of San Martin Comitan lay draped, like a wrinkled quilt, over the sharp ravines that scored the floor of the valley.” Through the uses of the words and phrases “draped”, “wrinkled quilt”, and “scored the floor” the author shows the reader what the horrid living conditions were like for that time period. The next major example of imagery is the end of line 2, where the author writes, “A rooster crowed in a corner of some milpa, a remote cornfield behind the town.” This alludes to how desert the area these people were living in and can be compared to a western film where a tumbleweed rolls by showing how empty the place really is.
This gives the reader a sort of hopeless feeling.. Another way that the author uses imagery is through the literary device of onomatopoeia. Throughout the story, Connelly uses onomatopoeia to illustrate what is happening for the reader. For example, line 41 exclaims,”Then fell the swaths of five machetes, each finding its mark: thuck! . .
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thuck! “ This use of onomatopoeia, illustrates the killing of five innocent pedestrians. The imagery in this sentence makes the reader feel horrified and astonished at the injustice the people of Guatemala faced. Repetition is the second literary device the author uses to portray imagery. Through the sound of the bells in both lines 9 and 39, the author creates a depressing mood. The bells symbolize death and put the reader in the shoes of the people of the Guatemalan Civil War. The lines following 9 and 39, foreshadow that death is coming. This is evident through the lines, “.
..a wooden-faced soldier, in camouflaged fatigues with a heavy, automatic assault rifle slung over his shoulder,” and, “The dense mist surged forward, enveloping the whole scene. Seconds later, screeches of sharpened steel on steel sent trembles through the muted congregation, and a chorus of screams went up as women sought sanctuary against the breasts of their husbands and brothers.” This allusion to death shows how the people of Guatemala had absolutely no control over their situation and how truly awful it was for them.