The Ocean at the end of the lane by Neil Geiman is a book that has used personification, imagery, and symbolism to communicate its theme of magic and mystery from a childs perspective. The story is based on the childhood memories of the narrator who is now an adult. This story reveals a contrast of how children view the universe versus how adults perceive it. The author has used imagery, personification and symbolism to explain the various themes in the story. The literary devices of imagery, symbolism, and personification affect reality of the characters since they represent the characters qualities and actions in a manner that reveals their supernatural powers of the characters.
Symbolism has been used in this book to indicate that specific actions or objects have a more profound meaning than the literal sense in the book. Metaphor in literature is also used to evoke more in-depth thoughts from the reader. It makes the reader seek to understand a deeper meaning of the events in a story. Symbolism also makes the story memorable to a reader. One significant symbolism that the author uses is a small pond which in the eyes of the child and his friend Lettie, is a vast ocean. The narrator refers to this pond as an ocean throughout the book. Neil Geiman uses the ocean to symbolize the divine source of knowledge. When the narrator dips himself into the sea, he gains the ability to comprehend things. The ocean also has a broader symbol of the knowledge available in the universe which human beings can tap into for their benefit. Additionally, the narrator also uses an egg, and a rose in symbolism. The egg symbolizes the beginning of all existence while the rose is a symbol of reality. I knew what Egg waswhere the universe began, to the sound of uncreated voices singing in spaceand I recognized where Rose wasthe particular crinkling of space. Another symbol used by the author is that of an intense quest within the narrator. The pursuit is used as a symbolic myth about a strong desire to achieve which propels the narrator to keep going despite the challenges he faces. The narrator describes it as questing after something you cannot have, something you cannot even correctly imagine. This quest is used to symbolize lifes purpose which everyone has from a young age.
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Imagery is also used by Neil Geiman to make the story relatable to the reader by appealing to the readers emotions and senses. Imagery involves the use of figurative language to represent actions and objects and to create a vivid picture in the mind of the reader. The author of this story uses imagery in the description of the narrators pet. The narrator who is a child has a kitten known as Fluffy which he is fond of, He describes the kitten as compassionate and a good companion. This kitten is used by the author to paint a perfect picture of the childs innocence and normal childhood in the mind of the reader. The description of the kitten appeals to emotions, and the reader can almost accurately imagine the relationship between the child and the kitten. Imagery is also used to describe food in this novel. The narrator describes the food he was offered at home as tasteless and horrible. Conversely, he represents the food he is being provided at the Hempstocks home as warm, delightful and tasteful. The narrator explains the meal at the Hempstocks in a manner that paints a vivid picture in the readers mind. I swished it around with my spoon before I eating it, whirling it into a purple mess, and was as glad as I have ever been about anything. It tasted perfect. The imagery in the description of food is used to show the contrast between the childs home and that of the Hempstocks. From this representation, the reader can understand that the boy comes from a dysfunctional home. Conversely, the Hempstocks are a happy family even though there are no men in that family.
Personification is when authors attribute human characteristics to non-living things which ordinarily do not possess these abilities. This attribution is done to enhance the meaning. Personification is also used to capture the readers attention and imagination. Geiman uses personification on various occasions in this story. For instance, the ocean in this story is given the human attribute of providing knowledge and healing. The ocean offers consolation to the narrator who is going through challenges as a child. The ragged canvas tent is also personified in this story. It is given the ability to talk and calls itself the lady of the place. The canvas even offers to help the narrator. Ordinarily, a canvas structure can neither speak nor offer help. However, in this story, the canvas structure is given the ability to talk and offer assistance as a way of revealing the theme of magic and supernatural abilities. The ocean in this author is personified by being given the ability to pass knowledge. In real life, the ocean is a physical feature where marine life exists and various activities take place but directly impacting knowledge is not one of the things done by the sea. Additionally, personification has been used in this story to reveal the concept of magic and supernatural occurrences. Magic involves the happening of odd things such as nonliving things possessing the traits of living creatures. Personification has also been used in this story to give hidden meaning.
In conclusion, Neil Geiman has used symbolism, personification, imagery as well as other literary devices to show the world from a childs perspective. He also uses these tools to reveal the contrast between how children view the world and how adults view the world. A simple action such as getting help from a stranger can be magical to a child but to an adult that could just be something ordinary. This contrast is an indication that adults often take many things for granted but to children, all things are thought-provoking. From this book, children are sometimes more keen than adults, and this is proven by the child bringing home a new pet, but the parents take time to notice it.