The Witness Paper Essay

There is no better manner to understand an event than to see it first-hand. History is an imperfect thing. and as narratives are passed down. people forget their true significance. In “The Witness” . Katherine Anne Porter’s “Uncle Jimbilly” has experienced the horrors of bondage personally. and is frustrated when kids of the following coevals do non to the full understand and esteem the subject. The manner Porter describes these characters subtly shows the reader their feelings toward each other. Direct word picture may non be the most elusive signifier. but it rapidly and expeditiously gets a point across. The kids are given descriptions like. “flighty” . “thoughtful” . and “sad looking” . This brief word picture causes one to see the kids merely as guiltless immature heads. Uncle Jimbilly is described as an old adult male who “hobbles on a stick” with light-green grey. flocculent hair. He is “bent about double” from old ages spent bowing over things. This reflects his former life as a slave.

He has clearly lived a long. difficult life. and his battered organic structure shows us this. Indirect word picture helps to supply a deeper apprehension of a character. Through the inquiries the kids have for Uncle Jimbilly. particularly the younger two. Porter demonstrates their artlessness farther. “The kids thought Uncle Jimbilly had got over his bondage really good. ” This outlook creates some inquiries the kids believe to be harmless ; they do non to the full understand the emotional strain Uncle Jimbilly faces. However. with his responses. the reader comprehends his true feelings on the affair. Maria asks him to carve “Safe in Heaven” on the gravestone for her coney.

At her inquiry Uncle Jimbilly grows impatient and continues to reminisce about the male childs in the swamp and the unjust ways they were treated. This highlights the acrimonious feelings he has toward his yesteryear and the fact that the kids do non understand his agony. Katherine Anne Porter’s usage of word picture leaves the reader with a character many beds deep. She displays their colourss in a manner which highlights the implicit in subject in “The Witness” . The generational spread between Uncle Jimbilly and the kids is portrayed throughout the narrative and Uncle Jimbilly’s past of bondage is used as vehicle to stress this spread. Younger coevalss will ne’er to the full understand their ancestors’ lives. merely as coevalss to come will non understand theirs.

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