The Woods Rhetorical Analysis

Great Essays
The novel The Woods by Harlan Coben is about a rising prosecutor named Paul Copeland, whose sister disappeared 20 years ago at their summer camp. When the body of the boy who also went missing that night is found with his body aged showing that he was only recently murdered, Paul believes that his sister might have also survived that night. Paul reunites with his old friend Lucy from the camp and tries to question her father, Ira owned the camp at that time to find answers. The author uses personification, metaphors, and diction to covey that avoiding the past prevents one from living in the present, therefore one must confront the truth. Harlan Coben uses similes in his novel to show that one must confront the truth in order to truly live …show more content…
Half the time he actually thought it was still 1968. Other times he knew the truth-you could see it in his expression- but he just didn’t want to face it” (Coben 116). In this passage Ira’s guilt is shown to have driven him insane. He was never able to face the terrible thing that happened in his summer camp and chooses to avoid thinking about. This caused him to go crazy and to be admitted to mental institution resulting in him not being able to have a future. Coben uses a simile to Iras compares the state of Ira’s mind to a rubber ball showing how unstable it is because how he bounces around to different time periods. This shows he is terrified of his past and would rather pretend like it didn’t happen instead of facing it even if it means he doesn’t get a full life anymore. Later in the book Paul confronts Lucy about his theory that Ira had committed a murder which she defends by saying “It hurt so much, caused so much destruction. And then, when he saw Gil, it must have been like a ghost was coming back to haunt him”(Coben 467). Lucy uses the fact that her father is tormented about by not …show more content…
Paul’s friend Muse is the county’s lead investigator. Once she heard that a body was found in the woods matching the description of Paul’s sister she immediately lets him know. “Hope had been cradling my heart. Now it spread it’s talons and crushed it. I couldn’t breathe. I shook my head but Muse just kept nodding. ‘They found the remains not far from where the other two bodies were found,’ she said... I shook my head harder. Find out what happened, Museg\’’’ (Coben 452-453). This is an example of how the author uses personification to show how hope can cause pain to others. It cradled Paul’s heart showing its nurturing nature which describes the dependent state that Paul was in when he didn’t know what truly happened to his sister. He then personifies by hope by giving it talons which it uses to crush Paul’s heart. Even after all that Paul still asks Muse to find out what happened. This shows that he is willing to face his past, no matter how terrible it may be, so he can get on with life and focus more on his future. After Paul was given strong evidence that showed that his sister could be alive he tried not to get his hopes up like he has in the past.“I tried to warn myself. I tried to remember that hope was the cruelest of all mistresses, that it could crush your soul like a plastic cup. But right now I didn’t want to go there. I wanted the

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