“a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words” Essay
“A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words” Imagery is the use of rich vivid descriptions in literal scripts to create pictorial images in the reader’s mind. Hence, these mental illustrations produced by imagination are deliberately simulated by the author’s nib to give more weight to his/her specific ideas. British novelist Jeanette Winterson, best known for Orange Are Not The Only Fruit, perfectly handles the art of imagery, especially in her short story Newton where the topics of conformity and individual oppression are enhanced by the use of rhetorical images.
Imagery is firstly utilized to compare the ordinary citizens of the town to a figure of royal authority. As the protagonist Tom is leading an individuality revolution against his town, he is constantly wrecked by the modern society ideology as a thief incarcerated by the iron grip of a kingdom’s tyrant. In fact, Tom’s woman neighbour is characterized as a queen with “her hair coiled on her head like a wreath on a war memorial” (§10).
Likewise, the “dinner table, a table that […] extends … and extends … through a jagged hole blown in the side of the house” (§19) refers to a royal feast where powerful people sit and discuss the future of the county. Imagery is also employed to separate the main character from the mass. The book “L’etranger” written by Albert Camus is truly a haven for Tom. Indeed, the book is the only philosophical companion of the protagonist. However, its pages are blanked at the end during the supper (§19), like a complete brainwash of his own memory.
The refrigerator episode similarly shows the absurdity of Tom and the necessary stifling order of the mechanical society. In fact, the woman mentions “those are the rules” (§14) like the solemn voice of destiny that cannot be contradicted. Winterson also uses black humour imagery to enhance the morbidity and absurdity of individuality. Corpses are ironically laminated instead of buried and vouchers are given for “every successful lamination” (§16). Additionally, the exploding chicken “pelting the neighbour with eggs like hand grenades” destroys the neighbour’s arm, but “nobody notices” (§19).
Individual behaviour is therefore trivialized to pave the way for conformity and death, the fundamental doctrines of Newton. Thus, the use of imagery in Newton heightens the notion that every citizen is shedding his human behaviour at the hands of an artificial conformist society extolling individual oppression. By employing rhetorical images, the author succeeded in creating pictures in the reader’s mind that help understanding the general themes of the short story. 450 words Authenticity Declaration I confirm that this writing is my own work.
I have acknowledged all the words or ideas of another person. ________________________ ——————————————– [ 1 ]. “Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit”, Jeanette Winterson (online), jeanettewinterson. com/books/orangesarenottheonlyfruit. asp, accessed on December 1, 2011. [ 2 ]. ROCK, Claudia and PHADKE, Suneeti. “Style and Substance (Second Edition)”, Quebec, ERPI Editions, Pearson Longman, 2007, p. 140 to 144. The reader may refer to the aforementioned document for quotes.