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Horses of the Night Notes Essay

Vanessa was 6 years old, and Shallow Creek was a very cold environment o”No leaves grew…breath of seals and polar bears snuffled out steamily and turned to ice” – IMAGERY •Chris was fifteen when Vanessa met him

•”…let him stay at the Brick House.”  significance?
•”…high low-sweeping spruce trees shutting out the sun with their dusky out-fanned branches.” (pg 283) – IMAGERY •”At last the front screen door was hurled open and Grandfather Connor strode into the house, followed by a tall lanky boy.” (page 283) – IMAGERY •Chris’s physical appearance – “Grey eyes were slightly slanted, and his hair the colour of couchgrass at the end of summer when it has been bleached to a light yellow by the sun.” (pg 284) •”…warmly but shyly.” – irony/oxymoron

•”…,looking as granite as a statue in the cemetery.” – SIMILIE •”He’d been lucky to get it, if you ask me anything, Wilf’s family hasn’t got two cents to rub together…” (pg 285) – grandparents are extremely judgemental of Chris’s family, shows that Chris isn’t the same “social” class as them •”…curled into the bay window like a black giant seashell.” – SIMILE •”… just as though he had not heard a word my grandfather was saying.” – shows that Chris had high tolerance •”He simply appeared to be absent.”  significant?

•”The trees were still growing, and the leaves were firmly and greenly on them. The branches has been coaxed into formations of towers and high-up nests where you could look out and see for a hundred miles or more.” – IMAGERY •The lake was full of fantasy creatures – water monsters, creatures with necks like snakes, rooster’s comb, hard leather tough. •”Two riding horses” & “He missed the horses…”  any significance/reference to title of story •Story takes place during The Great Depression

•Vanessa was nine when Chris left Manawaka, mentions Brick House again •”he was not at Shallow Creek. He has not gone abck… northbound train at the first stop after manawaka, cashed his ticker and thumbed a life with a truck to Winnepeg” – shows Chris’s ambition •Aunt Edna – unemployed because
insurance company cut down staff, moved back to Manawaka •Vanessa’s brother, Roderick was born the year Grandmother Connor died o”The strangeness , the unbelievability, of both these events took up all of me.” page 291 •When Vanessa was eleven, Chirs returned to Manawaka

oChris’s appearance did not change – “the same knife-boned face with no flesh to speak of” •Chris was a travelling salesman who sold vacuums – tried to sell Vanessa’s mother a vacuum, but failed (they couldn’t afford one) •Chris then sells magazines, and said he would earn $100 in a month if every sixth person subscribed •Chris then produces wool products (socks) with an old-fashioned sewing machine oThinks he hit jackpot – |I think this thing could be quite a gold mine.” •Vanessa’s father dies

•Chris is unemployed again because there were no jobs on the market •”The grass that shone like green wavering light while the horses flew in the splendour of their pride.”  significant? •”He looked different, not only thinner… face and neck were tanned red-brown… wearing denims, farm pants, and a blue plaid shirt.” – Chris became a farmer •”‘The limousine’s over here.’ It was a wagon and two horses” – IRONY •

“Youngsters swam in and out of the house like shoals of nameless fishes.” – SIMILE •”… hardly see the food for the iridescent-winged blue-black bodies squirming all over it.” – IMAGERY • “The lake was not lonely or unthreatened… I looked at the grey reaches of it and held threatened. It was like a view of God which I had held since my father’s death.” page 296 •

“‘How much brighter the stars are when you’re completely away from any houses?’ … ‘I guess most people don’t give them much thought at all, except maybe to say – very pretty – or like that … They’re gigantic…” – page 297 •Chris was 21 and was sent to the army – “Chris left Shallow Creek some months after the war began.” (page 299) •”… my mother heard from Aunt Tess. Chris had been sent home from England, discharged from the Army because of a mental breakdown. He was now in the provincial mental hospital.” p.299 osignificant because Chris loses his mind

•”Animation gone from his face.”
•”All his life’s choices had been grown narrower and narrower” •”Only to be
a turmoil which appalled him and which he dreaded…” •”Useless strokes of fantasy against a depression that was both the world’s and his own”  SIGNIFICANT •”Slowly, slowly, horses of the night-” – TITLE

•”Night must move like this for him … land he journeyed through was inhabited by terrors, the old monster-kings of the lake, or whether he had discovered at last a way for himself to make the necessary dream perpetual”  SIGNIFICANT *** ________________________________________

Vocab – detested, sweltering, cameo, equanimity, simpleton, bludgeoning, wisecrack, malevolent, chivvying, illicitly, jubilant, spiel, overshoes, pronouncements, subterraneon oracle, utterances, engrossed, torrent, fortnight, pallid-eyed, monosyllabic, saurian, perpetual

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