Authors have many different ways of showing their literary strengths. Lois Simmie has many compelling ways of writing in her novel The Secret Lives of Sgt. John Wilson. The strong sense of Foreshadowing1 helps with the tone of the novel followed by the gripping imagery2 throughout that makes you read non-stop and the chapter endings3 that lead you to want more out of the chapter. An artist without paint brushes is like a writer without literary devices. As you can see authors need to use literary devices in an effective way to show that their novel is well developed.
Foreshadowing is what helps set the tone of this novel because it shows us what kind of character John Wilson and Polly are before the book really gets going. Lois Simmie does a great job by setting mood of the novel from the very first chapter by foreshadowing John Wilson’s characteristics. John explains that if the love of his life Polly wont marry him, that he would take his own life. In addition to this outlandish statement, on the very first page of the book Simmie describes John Wilson as having a “moody, intense nature” (7, Simmie) proving how strong his characteristics will show throughout the book. Without foreshadowing John’s personality in the first chapters of this novel, it would not effectively show the approaching disasters that were about to happen. In fact, this literary device allows the reader to form an opinion on the character before the story gets going. Thus proving, foreshadowing in this novel shows that Simmie critically thought about how she wanted to portray the characters.
Imagery is used to make a reader feel like they can see the scene in front of them as they are reading. Lois Simmie is the master of the literary device that is imagery. Because of Simmie’s skillful talent of imagery she can make a reader feel like they saw the murder of Polly first hand. For instance Lois Simmie has John Wilson describing Polly’s murder by saying her “blood was spurting everywhere, then just pouring out, like water from a broken jug” (79, Simmie) making it easy to picture what that would have been like, without actually being there. In addition this type of visual imagery makes the reader posses a feeling of disgust that makes your stomach turn. This is the type of writing captivates any type of audience.
Throughout the book the reader becomes familiar with the authors style of ending a chapter on a suspenseful note. Since the author wants to keep you intrigued throughout the book she needs to be constantly thinking of ways to keep you at the edge of your seat. The last chapter of the book was a strong balance of making the reader wanting more but also keeping the chapters informative. Therefore the ending of the last chapter ends the era that was Sgt. John Wilson but was also the start of a new era with” the birth of a son to John Wilson and Mrs. Jessie Wilson”(209, Simmie). In fact, the ending of the book should make you think about the bigger picture and the implications resolved throughout the book. If an author wants a reader to stay engaged throughout the book, a strong chapter ending is key. Simmie gives the perfect ending to the novel providing us with closure to the novel that we needed.
Literary devices are important to conduct a worth-while read; without them the novel would be monotonous. Louis Simmie composed a novel that avoids letting you forget what you have just read, and needing to re read it again. Her writing leads a lasting impression on a person. Unquestionably, the author understands how to write an informational novel without it seeming too formal, all while keeping the reader interested throughout1.


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