State of Wonder
In Anne Patchett’s State of Wonder, Patchett’s use of imagery on Marina’s initial arrival to the Lakashi’s camp, the specific details on how the Lakashi greet Marina, and the symbolism behind the Lakashi’s attire show Marina’s subtle character development of initially fearing the alienness of the natives to being more comfortable around them.
Imagery reveals Marina’s initial fear of the Lakashi. On the night of Marina’s arrival in the jungle, she heard the natives’ cries and banter from her boat. She took note that, “the sound was also more nuanced the closer they came to it: too forceful for any flock of birds, too rhythmic for any animal” (184). Marina’s likening of the Lakashi’s language as “sound” shows her initial fear of their alienness. Her inability to determine what she heard was even human cements that concept, and Marina’s confusion is noted as she attempts to logically cipher as to what or whom the “sound” could originate from. Marina first considers the environment she is in – a jungle, and then proceeds to methodically guess what animal the sound is coming from. The fact that Marina guessed the sound to originate from an animal hints that the sound is so foreign that it could not possibly be human. She likens the noise the Lakashi’s language to that of birds, noticing that the sound had some rhythmic pattern or musical quality to it, but then stated stating it was “too forceful.” One would expect bird noises and other strange animalistic sounds in the jungle, so for Marina to be shocked and uncertain as to what could make those noises highlights her fear of it. Also, this word choice of “forceful” hints at her uneasiness due to its negative connotation of being harsh, abrasive, hurtful and menacing. Marina’s word choice shows her anxiety of the unknown as she subtlety hints that it is a potential threat, and in the end, Marina is left confused and uneasy as to what the noise could possibly be.
Later in the passage, specific...
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