Higher – Quotation Analysis

…if anyone breathe a word or the edge of a word about the other things, I will come to you in the black of some terrible night, and I will bring with me a pointy reckoning that will shudder you! And you know I can do it. I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads on the pillow next to mine. And I have seen some reddish work done at night. And I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down! – Abigail

Context

·                     Spoken by Abigail

·                     Spoken to Betty, Mary, Mercy

·                     Abigail is trying to intimidate the girls into silence. She knows that if the truth gets out she will be ruined. She threatens violence upon the others.

·                     Abigail is fearful that the truth may emerge, but also cunning enough to defend herself. The quote reveals how far she is willing to go to keep her name.

Analysis 

·                     Aggressive, threatening tone.

·                     “Terrible night” – emphasizes the intimidation – the adjective gives the threat more force.

·                     “black” – Connotations of secrecy, but also of witchcraft, or sinister actions.

·                     “a word, or the edge of a word” – stresses the need for secrecy – not even the suggestion of a word can be spoken without Abby threatening to kill.

·                     Anaphora – “And” – Builds up the size of the threat – makes it seem more plausible. Repetition makes it sound as though she is improvising – reflecting a desperate state of mind?

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