Tag Archives: description

As Addie Lay Dying…

“The quilt is drawn up to her chin, hot as it is, with only her two hands and her face outside. She is propped on the pillow, with her head raised so she can see out the window, and we can hear him every time he takes up the adze or the saw. If we were deaf we could almost watch her face and hear him, see him. Her face is wasted away so that the bones draw just under the skin in white lines. Her eyes are like two candles when you watch them gutter down into the sockets of iron candlesticks.  But the eternal and the everlasting salvation and grace is not upon her…Under the quilt she makes no more of a hump than a rail would, and the only way you can tell she is breathing is by the sound of the mattress shucks. Even the hair at her cheek does not move, even with that girl standing right over her, fanning her with the fan” (6-7).


Faulkner, W. (2012). As i lay dying. (pp. 6-7). New York: The Modern Library.


Notes: The reader can really sense death here, especially with the description of Addie’s eyes being “like two candlesticks.”  Through the description of Addie, the reader can see that she is not far from dying and that she is “wasting away.”

The Fate of Hair

Mr. Alfred Thipps was a small, nervous man, whose flaxen hair was beginning to abandon the unequal struggle with destiny (4).

Sayers, Dorothy L. Whose Body? Mineola: Dover Publications, 1923. Print

Note: full of description, even when talking about hair.  Makes a theatrical deal out of something. Brings a bit of humor to the situation. Stands out and makes one reread the sentence. Draws attention.

Unusual Characterization in “Whose Body?”

“His long, amiable face looked as if it had generated spontaneously from his top hat, as white maggots breed from Gorgonzola” — Sayers, 1

“Mr. Alfred Thipps was a small, nervous man, whose flaxen hair was beginning to abandon the unequal struggle with destiny.” — Sayers, 4

Notes: unusual description of characters, comical details, metaphor, characterization, bold imagery used in peculiar ways. What is the reader supposed to make of these “first impressions” of these characters?

Whose Body? This Body

The body which lay in the bath was that of a tall, stout man of about fifty. The hair, which was thick and black and naturally curly, had been cut and parted by a master hand, and exuded a faint violet perfume, perfectly recognisable in the close air of the bathroom. The features were thick, fleshy and strongly marked, with prominent dark eyes, and a long nose curving down to a heavy chin. The clean-shaven lips were full and sensual, and the dropped jaw showed teeth stained with tobacco. (8).

Sayers, D. (2009). Whose body?. (p. 8). Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, INC.


Notes: Through describing the dead man in the bathtub, the reader can see that this story will be a detective story with a who-done-it story line. Through this description of the killed man, the reader  sees and understands what this man looks like because Sayers paints a very clear picture.