Language

The language of the short story “Saturday Afternoon” by Erskine Caldwell is rather simple and easy to follow. The occasional use of colloquial words and wrong grammar structures adds to the local color of the events and poses no difficulties in the overall understanding of the text:​

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Imagery

Imagery refers to the overall sensory output the story conveys, to the way the author manages to create descriptive passages which help readers imagine what is happening, the setting or how the characters look like. For instance, the opening imagery paints a very detailed portrait of the way Tom sits and the setting of the … 

Similes

Several similes contribute to making the descriptions more appealing and drawing comparisons. For instance, the way Tom slices the meat in the shop is “businesslike”, suggesting a certain solemnity in his act which also creates irony. Then, when the mob’s plans for killing Will are presented, they are associated with … 

Repetition

Repetition is an important figure of speech in this short story, as it shows the characters going back to the same observations and ideas, just like they are resuming their lives after killing and torturing Will Maxie. For instance, Tom repeats the same expression in the beginning and end of the short story, about everything … 

Irony

Though it is about the violent killing of a black man, the story is filled with irony and humor which further contribute to suggesting the characters’ indifference to violence. Here are but two examples of humorous irony from the text: “Tom's butcher shop did not have a very pleasant smell. Strangers who went in to buy Tom's … 

Symbols

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