Karma. What is karma? Is it a part of life? Is it what helps us make decisions? Or is it the balance of life and everyone living in it? In Charlie Fish’s story Death By Scrabble karma is the main theme. This fictional story is about a husband and his wife playing Scrabble, a game in which players earn points for the words made by them with available letters. The story narrates how the words in the game reflect the practical life of the players. In every story there are literary devices used to help develop the theme of the story.
In this story the terms imagery, the use of foreshadowing, and mostly irony. By the end of this essay readers will realise how all the use of these literary terms helped develop the theme of karma in Charlie Fish’s Death By Scrabble. Imagery in Death By Scrabble I shown a lot and helps conquer the theme behind the story, karma. “I’m 42 years old, it’s a blistering hot Sunday afternoon and all I can think of to do with my wife is play Scrabble” (page 1)this is giving the readers an imagery upon the of the setting in which the husband and wife are upon.
While starting there’s the obvious feel and imagination of the image of the married couple sitting and playing the game at a season of heat and anguish. Playing the game, the couple begins to play in a way against each other with intention to win, the imagery is seen upon when his wives “smug expression as she rearranges her letters. Clack, clack clack. ” (page1) The husband is as well in a race to win the game, as seen by him hoping “she has lousy letters” and even finding it “remarkably Tilo 2 satisfying” when his wife “gets a static shock off the air conditioning unit.
” Each player is against the other while being able to outstandingly give immense imagery to the readers even the inner feelings such as the husband feeling “a terrible rage build up inside… some inner poison slowly spreading.. and when it gets to my fingertips I am going to jump out of my chair and… start hitting her again and again and again. ” It’s obvious that he’s feeling angry and wants to win badly to annoy her or maybe to get a good feeling out of it. Imagery makes the story fulfill with life and integrity into being believed and seen in the reader’s imagination and perspective.
Another literary is deviced used in this story is foreshadowing. In the story we realise right away that the husband hate towards his wife, and wants to get rid of her as soon as possible. This foreshadows that there is a possibility of death in the story. As the story goes on the husband realizes all of the words he puts down on the scrabble board are coming true. “Waiting to fly. Stupid. I opened my eyes, and theres a fly. An insect, buzzing around above the scrabble board, surfing the thermals from the tepid cup of tea. That proves nothing. ” (page 4)
This is another example of foreshadowing because the author hints to the reader that the Scrabble Board is jinxed, and that the next words that the husband and wife put down on the board will become reality. Lastly another Foreshadowing moment happens when she plays the word “caution”. This foreshadows a warning of something bad to come. We now see how foreshadowing plays a huge role connecting to the theme of the story. Oh the irony! The last literary term irony is used from top to bottom in this story.
This quote is when the narrator/main character starts realize that everything being put down on the Scrabble Board is happening in real life. “She plays sweatier… i’m getting sweatier” This is when the reader may notice the overall irony in the story when the words come to life and are completed. “I don’t believe it- it can’t be Tilo 3 a coincidence. The letters made it happen.
I played the word explodes… and the air conditioning unit exploded” (page 3) with this mindset of the husband he reveals the irony and the reality in the story for the reader. A big part of irony in the story is how his cousin “Harold swallowed a bee when he was nine, his throat swelled up and he died.
”Then towards the end of the story he chokes on a “b” just like his cousin and dies. The greatest irony in the story is the fact that throughout the whole time the husband is playing scrabble trying to figure out which words he can spell out to kill his wife, but what he doesn’t know is that his wife is playing the same game. And ironically she ends up winning. Irony in this story best illustrates Karma. Finally the use of these literary terms helped create the theme of this story. The suspense kept the reader wanting to know what will happen to the wife. will he kill her?
Foreshadowing in this story is also another huge part in showing karma, when he realizes every word he puts down becomes a reality, and his wife playing and plays the word “caution” to warn him. Lastly the greatest literary device used to help create the theme of karma is irony. It is very ironic how the husbands cousin dies from choking on a bee and he ends up choking on a B, also the fact that the husband is trying to kill his wife, but once again ironically she ends up killing him. These are the ingredients in this story that helped develop the theme of karma.
Courtney from Study Moose
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