Requiem Guatemala Essay, Research Paper
Is This Some Sort of Sign?
Symbolism by definition is a revelation or suggestion of intangible conditions or truths by artistic invention. Requiem Guatemala, a novel by Marshall Bennett Connelly, exemplifies superlative symbolic use at its prime. Connelly s use of imagery and symbolism in from Three Dirges creates an intricate illustration through his use of diction, his use of similes, and his use of vivid descriptions.
Connelly begins to employ imagery to portray the setting. He elucidates the little village of San Martin Comitan through his diction. The village lies draped like a wrinkled quilt that is set over the sharp ravines that scored the floor of the valley. The use of the simile strengthens the image of the village. The picturesque scene stretches from the gently sloping patches of tile roofs to the eastern rim of the Sierra Madre. Furthermore, the sky filled with dark, gray clouds runs along the ruby lining. This image creates a picture in the mind by using colorful diction that enhances Connelly s descriptions. The image also symbolizes events to happen in the novel. The dark-colored sky foreshadows the dark misery when the deaths of the boys occur. The image produces a feeling of hopelessness. The words dark, black, and gray, not only improve the image but also set the tone. The feeling of despair and of hopelessness lingers amongst the blanket of fog that spans through the village and up the valley. The clouds and fog, again, underline the pending adversities to come. The ruby lining of the sky symbolizes the bloodshed from the murders. Again, the colorful word choice accurately parallels the events in the novel.
As the story unfolds, the tone shifts from hopelessness to somber. The heavy mist of the morning symbolizes grief. As the boys approach death, everyone wept hidden by their lacy, white veils tinted gray. The color shift from white to gray creates a light versus dark image. As the image shifts from light to dark, the tone also changes. Connelly reinforces the grief by echoing the image later in the novel. The grief overwhelms the crowd just as the dense mist overwhelms the scene. This occurs moments before the death of the boys. As the death begins to occur, the screeches of sharpened steel on steel emphasize the terror the muted congregation feels towards the boys. The silent image breaks as a chorus of screams arises. To help ease the situation, an image of love and care precedes the tragedy. The disturbed women sought sanctuary from their husbands and brothers. To shield themselves from the imminent horror, they stand close to ones they love. As the tragedy strikes, the use of onomatopoeias creates a visual as well as an audible image. The image shows the bullets as they thuck into the boys. The image establishes the event happening live by employing sound devices.
An overall scene of pity envelops immediately following the death of the boys. The congregation does not just weep, but collapse in a mass of wailing bodies. Their grief grows as death approaches. The reaction of the crowd reflects the downfall of the boys. As the boys fall, the crowd collapses. The image, again, shows a parallel to the events that transpire throughout the novel. The mourning crowd carries their grief with them as they waft toward the rays of morning sun. The rise of the morning sun, perhaps, symbolizes enlightenment or represents a sign of hope following such a misfortune. The rays of sunlight stretch across the heavens, showing that the mourners will move to a new beginning. The souls of the five young men become a part of the scenery. As the heavy truck churned, the souls drift high into the pines and swirl with the rush of the cool wind. These vivid descriptions end the scene with serenity amongst nature. The image of the drifting souls symbolizes that the soul lives on forever even though the body has ceases existence. When the drifts of clouds flutter away, so does the grief. The grief corresponded with dark, dismal clouds, but since the grief recedes, so must the clouds.
Connelly fully incorporates a story enhanced by imagery and symbols. Through colorful, strong diction, eloquent similes, and vibrant descriptions, Connelly generates drama, suspense, tragedy, grief, and eventually a new understanding regarding the death of five young men. The numerous images relate to the tale, but they do not eliminate any other important aspects of Connelly s intentions. Even with the illustrative images, the beauty of the scenery does not take away from the event at hand, death. The images and symbols underline the shifting tones and attitudes expressed as the events unfurl. Lasting impressions and reminiscences regarding the novel directly result from the images, and what can a man say to something like that, and what s a man supposed to do?