Style of writing and choice of words
Most of the story “That Summer” by Safia Moore is told in the narrative mode, with only a few dialogue lines, which usually give authenticity to the characters, most of whom are children: “ ‘Whatcha’ think? Double D?’ ” (l. 48). Because of the informal dialogue and phrases, the style of the story is quite humorous or ironic on occasion: “Cuckoos, to be kicked out of our cozy Protestant nest” (ll. 28-29). The phrase mocks the locals’ Protestant pride.
Descriptive words used in the story are mostly connected to the setting and characters. Some examples related to the setting are: “steamy haze” (l. 3), “fancy wood panelling” (ll. 29-30), “slatted wooden fence” (l. 31), “sun’s infernal rays” (l. 34), “white dressing table” (l. 95), “purple painted walls” (l. 107), etc. Most of these constructions describe the extreme hot weather or the Walshes’ house. The depiction of the weather suggests the idea of a bad omen. The weather foreshadows the tragic events in the story. It also reflects the tense atmosphere in the community, as a result of the Walsh family moving there.
Depictions of characters’ physical appearances include: “tacky-footed” (l. 7), “old-aged pensioners” (l. 26), “her voice robust” (l. 27), “breasts unrestrained” (l. 37), “auburn hair” (l. 40), “long, scarlet nails” (l. 41), “big, calloused hand” (l. 113), etc. Often, the narrator focuses on details related to characters rather than giving readers an overall picture of a certain character or the community. In this way, the readers get a glimpse into his perspective and pri...