Essay on Analysis Of The Book ' Nickel Mountain ' By John Gardner

1368 Words May 11th, 2016 6 Pages
The first chapter of John Gardner 's novel, Nickel Mountain, introduces the readers to the depressed, lonely life of Henry Soames, the owner of an unsuccessful convenience store. This chapter shows readers how Soames copes with the emotional and physical conflict of living a lonely depressed life, with a heart disease. A common theme in this passage is Henry’s inability to cope with his dying heart and grotesque physical appearance in order to escape his hopeless, deteriorating state of mind. Henry 's physical and mental attributes are characterized using setting, diction and syntax, and figurative language.
The winter setting maintained throughout the passage characterizes Henry by showing a reflection of his innermost thoughts and outermost physical appearance through the storm outside. The stormy weather, already a symbol for sadness and darkness, is described as windy, powerful, and seemingly everlasting, exactly like Henry’s depression. The author states, “Henry Soames would pull at his lip with his thumb and first finger, vaguely afraid of the storm and vaguely drawn to it,” (Gardener 1). This quote shows how the storm outside is a window into Henry’s mind. He is afraid of what his future will be, just as he is afraid of the storm. But, Soames is still drawn to the chaos within the storm and within his own mind because he is so depressed it has become inescapable.“Henry Soames would shake his head and look out the window at the snow and after a minute he would say,…

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