Note the author's ironic attitude towards the young Stark which is seen from the periphrastic nomination of the protagonist ("teacher's pet") in the author's final remark.
5. From that day on, thundering trains loomed in his dreams - hurtling, sleek, black monsters whose stack pipes belched gobs of serpentine smoke, whose seething fireboxes coughed out clouds of pink sparks, whose pushing pistons sprayed jets of hissing steam - panting trains that roared yammeringly over farflung, gleaming rails only to come to limp and convulsive halts - long, fearful trains that were hauled brutally forward by red-eyed locomotives that you loved watching as they (and you trembling) crashed past (and you longing to run but finding your feet strangely glued to the ground). (Wr.)
This paragraph from Richard Wright is a description into which the character's voice is gradually introduced first through the second person pronoun "you", later also graphically and syntactically - through the so-called embedded sentences, which explicitly describe the personage's emotions.
The paragraph is dominated by the sustained metaphor "trains" = "monsters". Each clause of this long (the length of this one sentence, constituting a whole paragraph, is over 90 words) structure contains its own verb-metaphors "belched", "coughed out", "sprayed", etc., metaphorical epithets contributing to the image of the monster -"thundering", "hurtling", "seething", "pushing", "hissing", etc. Their participial form also helps to convey the effect of dynamic motion. The latter is inseparable from the deafening noise, and besides "roared", "thundering", "hissing", there is onomatopoeic "yammeringly".
The paragraph abounds in epithets - single (e.g. "serpentine smoke"), pairs (e.g. "farflung, gleaming rails"), strings ("hurtling, sleek, black monsters"), expressed not only by the traditional adjectives and participles but also by qualitative adverbs ("brutally", "yammeringly"). Many epithets, as it was mentioned before, are metaphorical, included into the formation of the sustained metaphor. The latter, besides the developed central image of the monstrous train, consists of at least two minor ones - "red-eyed locomotives", "limp and convulsive halts".
The syntax of the sentence-paragraph shows several groups of parallel constructions, reinforced by various types of repetitions (morphological- of the -ing-suffix, caused by the use of eleven participles; anaphoric -of "whose"; thematic - of the word "train"). All the parallelisms and repetitions create a definitely perceived rhythm of the passage which adds to the general effect of dynamic motion.
Taken together, the abundance of verbs and verbals denoting fast and noisy action, having a negative connotation, of onomatopoeic words, of repetitions - all of these phonetic, morphological, lexical and syntactical means create a threatening and formidable image, which both frightens and fascinates the protagonist.
SUPPLEMENT 2. EXTRACTS FOR COMPREHENSIVE STYLISTIC ANALYSIS
1. As various aids to recovery were removed from him and he began to speak more, it was observed that his relationship to language was unusual. He mouthed. Not only did he clench his fists with the effort of speaking, he squinted. It seemed that a word was an object, a material object, round and smooth sometimes, a golf-ball of a thing that he could just about manage to get through his mouth, though it deformed his face in the passage. Some words were jagged and these became awful passages of pain and struggle that made the other children laugh. Patience and silence seemed the greater part of his nature. Bit by bit he learnt to control the anguish of speaking until the golf-balls and jagged stones, the toads and jewels passed through his mouth with not much more than the normal effort. (W.G1.)
2. As the women unfolded the convolutions of their stories together he felt more and more like a kitten tangling up in a ball of wool it had never intended to unravel in the first place; or a sultan faced with not one but two Scheherezades, both intent on impacting a thousand stories into the single night. (An.C.)
3. "Is anything wrong?" asked the tall well-muscled manager with menacing inscrutability, arriving to ensure that nothing in his restaurant ever would go amiss. A second contender for the world karate championship glided noiselessly up alongside in formidable allegiance. (Js.H.)
4. As Prew listened the mobile face before him melted to a battle-blackened skull as though a flamethrower had passed over it, kissed it lightly, and moved on. The skull talked on to him about his health. (J.)
5. Scobie turned up James Street past the Secretariat. With its long balconies it has always reminded him of a hospital. For fifteen years he had watched the arrival of a succession of patients; periodically, at the end of eighteen months certain patients were sent home, yellow and nervy and others took their place - Colonial Secretaries, Secretaries of Agriculture, Treasurers and Directors of Public Works. He watched their temperature charts every one - the first outbreak of unreasonable temper, the drink too many, the sudden attack for principle after a year of acquiescence. The black clerks carried their bedside manner like doctors down the corridors; cheerful and respectful they put up with any insult. The patient was always right. (Gr.Gr.)
6. Her voice. It was as if he became a prisoner of her voice, her cavernous, sombre voice, a voice made for shouting about the tempest, her voice of a celestial fishwife. Musical as it strangely was, yet not a voice for singing with; it comprised discords, her scale contained twelve tones. Her voice, with its warped, homely, Cockney vowels and random aspirates. Her dark, rusty, dipping, swooping voice, imperious as a siren's. (An.C.)
7. In a very few minutes an ambulance came, the team was told all the nothing that was known about the child and he was driven away, the ambulance bell ringing, unnecessarily. (W.G1.)
8. This area took Matty and absorbed him. He received pocket money. He slept in a long attic. He ate well. He wore a thick dark-grey suit and grey overalls. He carried things. He became the Boy. (W.G1.)
9. We have all seen those swinging gates which, when their swing is considerable, go to and fro without locking. When the swing has declined, however, the latch suddenly drops to its place, the gate is held and after a short rattle the motion is all over. We have to explain an effect something like that. When the two atoms meet, the repulsions of their electron shells usually cause them to recoil; but if the motion is small and the atoms spend a longer time in each other's neighbourhood, there is time for something to happen in the internal arrangements of both atoms, like the drop of the latch-gate into its socket, and the atoms are held. (W.Br.)
10. We marched on, fifteen miles a day, till we came to the maze of canals and streams which lead the Euphrates into the Babylonian cornfields. The bridges are built high for the floods of winter. Sometimes the ricefields spread their tassled lakes, off which the morning sun would glance to blind us. Then one noon, when the glare had shifted, we saw ahead the great black walls of Babylon, stretched on the low horizon against the heavy sky. Not that its walls were near; it was their height that let us see them. When at last we passed between the wheatfields yellowing for the second harvest, which fringed the moat, and stood below, it was like being under mountain cliffs. One could see the bricks and bitumen; yet it seemed impossible this could be the work of human hands. Seventy-five feet stand the walls of Babylon; more than thirty thick; and each side of the square they form measure fifteen miles. We saw no sign of the royal army; there was room for it all to encamp within, some twenty thousand foot and fifty thousand horse.
The walls have a hundred gates of solid bronze. We went in by the Royal Way, lined with banners and standards, with Magi holding fire-altars, ith trumpeters and praise-singers, with satraps and commanders. Further on was the army; the walls of Babylon enclose a whole countryside. All its parks can grow grain in case of siege; it is watered from the Euphrates. An impregnable city.
The King entered in his chariot. He made a fine figure, overtopping by half a head his charioteer, shining in white and purple. The Babylonians roared their acclamation, as he drove off with a tram of lords and satraps to show himself to the army. (M.R.)
11. You know, a lot of trouble has been caused by memoirs. Indiscreet revelations, that sort of thing. People who have been close as an oyster all their lives seem positively to relish causing trouble when they themselves will be comfortably dead. It gives them a kind of malicious glee. (Ch.)
12. "Call Elizabeth Cluppins," said Sergeant Buzfuz. The nearest usher called for Elizabeth Tuppins, another one, at a little distance of, demanded Elizabeth Jupkins; and a third rushed in a breathless state into Ring Street and screamed for Elizabeth Muffins till he was hoarse. (D.)