Language

Style of writing in lines 1-17

The style of writing in lines 1-17 of the short story “The Meaning of Clouds” by Natalie Cox is informal. There are contractions, and the tone is casual and conversational. For instance: “Why doesn’t it rain? I have no idea what makes a cloud give in” (ll. 7-8). 

The dialogue is simple and straightforward: “ ‘ What do clouds mean?’ (...) ‘Clouds mean water.’ ” (ll. 1-5). 

The style of language in the narration is more complex, using figurative language such as in the sentence: “I shift a little on the blanket, the tartan threads releasing the ghost of my parents’ under-the-stairs cupboard as I do so” (ll. 3-4). Another example of figurative language is “I have no idea what makes a cloud give in” (l. 8). Here, the cloud is personified as having a pressure point, like a person. It is likely that Mags thinks of herself and her own pressure point beyond which she might “give in” to life’s problems.

Contrasts are used to highlight Mags’ frus...

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