An analysis of the tent family

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Lange’s photograph shows us a very poor family. They have torn, dirty clothes and tussled hair. They are all standing inside a very dirty and torn tent giving us an assumption of what their poor lifestyle may have looked like. The children are framed by a very concerned father, embracing his children and a mother standing in the front as if guarding the family. In this photograph the mothers face acts as the dominant element and the focal point. Her her is pulled back and she’s wearing a long wrinkled dress which also acts as a leading line, pointing towards her face. The faces plays a very large role in this picture. expressions all look sad and concerned, giving off a very gloomy mood. The contrast created between the faces and the dark background further emphasizes them and their way of setting a mood. The picture shows the hard conditions people lived under during this time of history, the same ones described in “Of Mice and Men”.  The migration at this time was caused by a decrease in food sources as a lack of fresh farmland grew in the center of the country. The people, forced to leave, migrated to the west, but as the drought had taken away most of their income, they had to live outside, as depicted in the picture.

Cold – Short Story

“Cold” is a story about a man who gets into a car crash and finds himself lost somewhere in the deep woods. In his search for the truth he soon finds a cabin nearby and realizes that the truth might be different than he expected.

In the end, my story is about the labels we are given that makes us viewed not as what we truly are but as what others see and defines us to be.

I chose to write my story in first person. While this makes it harder to describe the protagonist, it also makes the reader closer to the character so that whenever something happens, the reader feels empathy for the person. Reading through the eyes of the protagonist also adds to the element of surprise as well as it creates suspense. The setting of the story is somewhere in the deep woods. Because the character is supposed to be lost and unknowing I’ve chosen to make the location unknown. This also gives of a sense of creepiness and frightfulness. The cabin in the story is depicted as quite cold and dirty making the reader think that the owner Mrs. Hollow isn’t completely well and doesn’t take care of the house so much which also makes the story a bit creepier.

The main conflict in the story is the identity of the protagonist. Due to his car crash he doesn’t remember anything and so his main goal throughout the story is to find out the truth.

The main motif in the story is “Cold”. This symbolizes both death and fear. The word is first found in the title, this to enhance the importance of it as well as to set a mood, in this case creepy. The word is later not only used to describe the surroundings but even more important; the feelings of the protagonist, since this plays a big role in the reveal at the end. “All that I could think about was the extreme coldness I felt inside. From the tip of my head all down to my toes, that’s what I felt; cold.”


 

A story about a man’s identity and his search for the truth.

Cold

No. This isn’t right. It can’t be. I mean how could it be. I looked down at the clear water before me. How I despised what I saw. How I feared it.

I opened my eyes. The smell of gasoline hit my senses instantly…and blood. I was cramped in the front seat of my car, or what was left of it at least.  Panicking, I desperately started to twist trying to get out. Eventually the door opened up allowing me to throw myself out on the hard muddy ground beneath. I crawled to a nearby tree where I sat down as I tried to figure out what had happened. Still, no memories came to mind, showing any clue of what actually had happened. All that I could think about was the extreme coldness I felt inside. From the tip of my head all down to my toes, that’s what I felt; cold. Suddenly, as if waking up from my thoughts I realized that it was pitch black outside, and I needed to find a shelter. I tumbled myself up on my feet and started limping down the long road ahead.

As I walked, the clouds where slowly appearing above my head and not after long I could feel rain drops falling down. The increasing rain soon started to soak through my clothes. Luckily it didn’t take long until I glimpsed a cabin further down the road. The cabin, made almost entirely of timber, gave of a strong feeling of abandonment as the surface was covered with a thick layer of dust and cobweb. Hesitantly, I walked up to the large wooden door and lifted the heavy knocker that with a loud sound slammed against the door as it left my weak hand. From inside I could then hear the voice of what I thought was an older women saying:

“Come in!”

I walked inside and soon found out that the woman I had heard was indeed an old lady. She was sitting in a frayed velvet armchair looking at a small fireplace not far from where I was standing. Observing the room, I saw that just like the outside, the interior was also neglected. This home was clearly lacking its soul. All of a sudden the door shut behind me and the lady slowly turned her head in my direction.

“Good evening.” The lady said with a hoarse voice.

With the coldness still lingering in my body I tried to answer but my tongue simply refused to cooperate. Almost as a response to my silence the lady slowly moved towards me to take a closer look at the person in front of her. As she caught a better sight of me she stopped and gasped.

“You look like you’ve been hit by a truck! Come inside, tell me what happened?”

Again, unable to answer, my mouth stayed shut.

“Oh well, you don’t have to talk about it right now, we can take that later. I am Mrs. Hollow. Now let me take a look at those wounds and get you warm.”

And before I knew it she quickly covered my body with a blanket and dragged me inside the cabin.

Mrs. Hollow took me to a small, almost hospital like room on the second floor. While she cleared up my wounds I couldn’t help but notice how extremely small her hands were. Like two delicate flower petals, nervously dabbing on my blood covered forehead with a small cloth. When my wounds where all clean Mrs. Hollow walked me into the living room where a ragged, burgundy colored couch and a round, wooden table stood. She told me to sit down before she left the room only to reappear a few minutes later with a cup of tea in her hand.

“I thought you might want something warm to drink before you went to bed so I brought you this” Mrs. Hollow said, handing me the cup.

“Thank you” I said, finally being able to speak again, “You’re very kind”. The sound of my own voice almost surprising myself.

“Oh please, no need for flattering. As long as you’re okay, there’s no reason for such talk. Its late and we should both probably hurry up and go to bed.” She said as she then continued talking. “I have to go take care of something, but please let me know if you need something” she said before exiting the room, and ones again leaving me alone.

Looking after her as she walked away I thought to myself; something just didn’t feel right. Why is she acting so strange, why is it that every time she’s around its almost as if she’s rushing to get away from my presence? I took a sip of the tea and noticed that it tasted quite different. Sweetness, bitterness and warmth spreading out in my mouth leaving an aftertaste of bitter almonds. My head started aching. The room started spinning. I closed my eyes and slowly felt my consciousness drift away.

I woke up to the buzzing sound of fluorescent lamps. Where was I?

I looked around only to find cold concrete walls and a staircase leading upwards. Feeling a cold grip around my arm, I realized that I was cuffed to a radiator up against the wall. And in front of me stood Mrs. Hollow.

“Wh-what’s going on?” I stuttered.

“Oh, you’re awake.” she said.

“Where and why am I here?!”

“Well, you see I didn’t have that much of a choice.” she said, “With all of the attacks lately, I simply had to lock you up.”

“What are you talking about?!”

“Well, the authorities of course. They’ll be here to get you in an hour.”

“Wha…!?” I cried out but immediately got interrupted as Mrs. Hollow continued.

“I was even ordered not to touch you but the thought of someone as unaware as you being in that state was simply too much.” she said, “You know I’ve never even been a big fan of these so called cleansings. But I have other people to think about and if I’ll ever have to choose between the wellbeing of my loved ones and the life of some unlucky man, I think you’ll understand me when I say that this just isn’t the time for sympathy.” She said with a cold expression.

Now it was my turn to gasp. Going through the words in my head, thinking of what just had occurred. I was desperately trying to make sense of it all. What does she mean by unaware? And why would I cause harm to her family? Why are they going to get me!? What’s going on!? I don’t understand, why was she doing this to me? The bare thought of getting captured made me almost hyperventilate.

“Now as I said earlier, it is late and I intend to get at least half an hour of sleep before our guests arrive. So, I’m sorry to say that this conversation is over. Good night.” Mrs. Hollow said with a cold expression not giving me any time to respond waiting for any response she then hurried up the stairs, leaving me to myself in the dark.

20 minutes passed after she left and I still didn’t have a clue of how to find my way out. But then suddenly I noticed the small amount of light that peered in through a small window above me. Sunrise. I had to hurry. I inspected the window thoroughly, feeling the edges on the frame. Was it possible? Would I fit? I had to get out and soon. I reached out for the window but instantly felt my arm pulling me back. The handcuffs. How could I get them off? With my free arm I felt the hard metal construction wrapped tightly around my wrist. There was simply no way this would come off easily, or painless for that matter. I took three deep breaths. And then I pulled.

I could hear the clear sound of my thumb detaching from its joint. The unimaginable pain I felt made my mind come in to a state of chock. My first instinct was to hold my thumb as hard as possible until the pain would slowly ease but I knew that I couldn’t leave my thumb as it was. With my other hand I then slowly pressed my thumb back into place realizing that this was even more painful. In agonizing pain, I held my hand tight to my chest… until I heard it.

The sound of cars driving in on the front yard. They were here, whoever they were. Rushing, I rapidly pushed my fist through the window causing it to shatter. I climbed up to the window and squeezed myself through the narrow opening with the broken glass causing several cuts on my body. As I ran into the dark woods I could hear the distant sound of people entering the basement followed by a loud commotion.

My mind in panic I said to myself; I’ll run, I’ll run as fast as I can and as far away as possible. I’ll live in the wild. I’ll learn to hunt, and fish. Whatever is needed, until I find out what’s actually happening.

Lost in my thoughts I didn’t notice the root in front of me until it was too late and I was already heading towards the ground. I hit the ground hard, my knees and arms deep into a puddle. I straightened myself up but just as I was going to leave I noticed something weird in the puddle. I watched as the water surface started to clear up and then revealing the most awful sight. I was speechless, chocked.

No. This isn’t right. It can’t be. I mean how could it be. I looked down at the clear water before me. How I despised what I saw. How I feared it.

Because what I saw before me wasn’t a normal reflection. No, it had pale eyes, discolored, grey skin, with deep, deep hollows in both the eyes and the cheekbones…it was my reflection.

My body went ice-cold. I was dead.