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Short Stories are among the major pieces of work that have contributed greatly to literature throughout the ages. These stories have often been used in the past and are still used even in the present to pass a specific message to the readers on what is happening around them. However, as in any piece of literature, short stories must meet certain standards of literature that allow them not only to pass the message but also to entertain the readers by captivating their minds and propelling them to critically focus on what the author is trying to communicate. As a result, various elements have to be utilized in these stories. Among them are the literary devices. While literal devices such as similes, metaphors, and dialogue may be ignored in any piece of work that is prepared by an author, they are essential and thus critical for the overall presentation of this work to the audience.

To begin with, the use of dialogue in any piece of literature is important in forming in the mind of the reader a clear picture of how a particular character looks like and thus present a wonderful picture of their character to the audience and thus evade the need for exposition on their part in this work. Similarly, to bring out character traits of different people in any story, similes and metaphors are used. This is done by relating either directly or indirectly things and people in the story one to another. In the story ‘The Durham Ladies’ in A White Heron and Other Stories, the writers use literal devices to understand the exact character of people mentioned in the story. Thus she can paint a vivid picture of all the characters in the story to the reader.

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There is one core reason that contributed to the author using these literal devices in her work. Since this is a story that reveals how modernism affects the older generation, it was important to give an exact description of how different people behaved when faced with such challenges. Therefore, the author had to ensure that the reader can grasp the overall picture of the effects of modernism on the past generation, revealing it through the use of these literal devices, namely dialogue, simile, and metaphors. For example, the story refers to the husband of Madam Dobin as a crooked stick. This was to reveal the character of her husband as a person that was not so straight even though he was a church minister.

Apart from aiding the reader to get a deeper understanding of different characters in the story, the use of these literal devices adds flavor to the whole outlook of the paper thus being able not only to pass a particular message to the reader but also to entertain the reader. Thus the author can meet two targets at one go; pass a message and entertain the reader.

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