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Unformatted text preview: The death-crying weir-weir and the other birds which Clyde sees and hears in this section ironically underscore Clyde's futile struggle to capture his sweet tennis-playing Sondra, "poised bird-like in flight." Two natural settings symbolize an invitation to death drought at the Alden farm and drowning at Big Bittern. Impending death by water reverberates not only in Clyde's lakeside photographs of Roberta, but in his damp hands and liquid eyes. But perhaps most metaphorical of all is Dreiser's description of Clyde's thoughts, linking them first to an Arabian Nights genie and then, in tortured rhetoric, to a sealed and silent hall wherein Clyde contemplates the ambiguity of good and evil. Dreiser's clipped, italicized, parenthetical external data impinging on Clyde's mind as he gazes out of the train window represents Clyde's believed thoughts and varies Clyde's extensive plottings. out of the train window represents Clyde's believed thoughts and varies Clyde's extensive plottings....
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- Fall '08