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Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson Essay

Isaac’s Storm is a book written by Erik Larson that describes a hurricane coming toward Galveston figuratively and literaly with his use of diction,figurative language, sentence structure, and organization of the piece. Larson starts out by describing Africa as “awakening,rose, and warmed (paragraph 1)” to bring the reader in to the chapter with the calm and tranquil presence of Africa. He continues to build on this with a shift “heat scalded the air(paragraph 2)” and “winds filled the sky with dust (paragraph 2)” to intice the reader with the sudden change in scenery. Africa was calm, tranquil but now something is forming, building up which creates suspense for the reader; capturing their interest. Paragraph three continues with the weather of not only Africa but in the U.S. with the “sea was hot (paragraph 3)” and “land was hot (paragraph3) to change the focus to the on the U.S.

He does this so the reader can see how this brewing storm in Africa is effecting the U.S. Larson uses words like “wool, black, superheated (paragraph 3)” to further describe the intense heat U.S is suffering from which creates imagery. He than pulls back to Africa in paragraphs five and six with “the winds are arced (paragraph 5)” and “air filled with snow flakes and shard ice (paragraph 6)” to show the storm is only getting worse ,rising and getting stronger. Larson again move back to the U.S saying “children saw clouds…clouds bloomed before their eyes (paragraph 6)”to show the obliviousness the people of U.S. are about this coming storm toward them from Africa.

Larson furthers his suspense with the weather in the U.S and Africa not only with his diction and figurative language but with his sentence structure. He uses short, choppy sentences to add imagery to his writing such as the “trains were hot (paragraph 2)” and “passengers roasted (paragraph 2).” Larson does this to emphasis the inescapable heat weather that is simply written but is very clear to the meaning. He uses these short sentences in the right way that gives meaning to the writing so the reader may imagine this and connect.

Larson also uses parallelism to emphasize the weather with “colder and colder (paragraph 6)” and “higher and higher (paragraph 6)” he does this again for suspense to what is coming. Erik Larson describes a hurricane coming toward Galveston figuratively and literally with his use of diction, figurative language, sentence structure, and organization of the piece. To show by one naïve nature can be their very downfall in the end.


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