Language

Style of writing

The language used by Richard Christian Matheson in the short story “Making Cabinets” is neutral and minimalist. The author’s style of writing is economical, as he only uses enough words for readers to get the gist of the story. For instance, in the following example, the author uses short sentences which lack unnecessary nouns and determiners: “She presses ear to door; hears blades severing. Pounds on door until it gives”. This style keeps the narrative concise and enhances the impact of each image or emotion, making every word count in crafting the atmosphere and emotion of the story. The language also appears slightly detached and jarring which contributes to its sense of unease and highlights the woman’s unsettled state of mind. 

Furthermore, the author uses Ernest Hemingway’s iceberg theory in the story. The technique means that the author leaves much of the story hidden – just like an iceberg under the waters. The visible part – the tip of the iceberg – is usually small and concise, captivating readers and persuading them to discover more. In this case, the visible part of the iceberg is the woman’s eating disorder, which is related to the horrific discovery that her husband was a cannibalistic serial kille...

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