Vivid Language response
Respond to the questions in a few sentences
Q1: Read the Power essay with a careful eye/ear for language. What role does word choice play? Take a specific look at this paragraph: “Metal letters on a low, windowless bunker of weathered concrete, a flagpole raised against a dark underbelly of cloud. The flag—seven stars more than the 7th Cavalry rode here under—hums in the Plains wind, fraying, fading, unstitching itself, the stripes splitting to ribbons.” What do we learn about this community/setting/situation from the language Power uses to describe it? Is there a particular mood or tone he creates? Metaphors? Are these helpful to understanding the material? Why?
Here is the final paragraph of the essay:
Fire Thunder beats a drum rhythm out on the mattress, closes his eyes, and wails out a phrase in Lakota, a sacred song to the four directions. The three men beat the cadence together, and the voice rises, hoarse and fierce, and the wind picks up, stirs the half-burned trash in the fire pit, rattles the dry cottonwood branches, bends the grass. Louder, and the wind fiercer, and, spinning with eyes closed, the wind sweeps away the bars, destroys them plank by plank, draws off into the sky like scattering seeds the cans of Camo Black Ice and Evil Eye and Hurricane, all the shards of loss and grief plucked out and gone, and the Lakota men are alone on the wide silent prairie.
Q2: How does the vivid language heighten our understanding of this scene? What is Power trying to say and how does the language help him achieve this?