Echo – Literature – Writing Style

The author creates the complex story of the travelling harmonica through the implementation of many details. Not only does she include real historical events, but she also creates protagonists by describing their outer appearance, their feelings and thoughts, but also the setting the story is embedded in. The following quote of the novel demonstrates Narrative writing, as it reflects on the relationship of the protagonist Friedrich and his uncle. In addition, it shows Friedrich’s character which is defined by insecurity. Finally, also hints about the setting can be found in the following quote:
“He almost fell over Uncle Gunter. ‘Good morning, nephew!’ He put an arm around Friedrich’s shoulder and drew him close. Friedrich tried to catch his breath. ‘Good…morn…ing.’ ‘Aren’t you happy to see me? Because I am happy to see you. Come!’ He guided Friedrich through the factory gates. […] Uncle Gunter was his usual jovial self and it steadied Friedrich.
(Munoz Ryan 2015, 47-48).
In addition, Muñoz Ryan (2015) uses Descriptive Writing, when referring to the themes of music and magic. The following quote depicts how the author creates an image in the reader’s head:

From the first phrase, her harmonica sang above the others…up and above the world so high…clear and resonant, the tone haunting and silky like a diamond in the sky…She closed her eyes and felt herself float in the blackest night among shimmering crystals…” (ibid. 393).

The personification of the instrument, the simile and the detailed description of her feelings enable the reader to paint a vivid picture in his mind, by imagining Ivy playing the harmonica. As the author addresses the auditive sense by describing the tone of the harmonica, the reader also gets an impression of the sound. Muñoz Ryan (2015) uses the literary device of similes relatively often, to create an almost melancholic image of music.
Furthermore, she makes use of various adjectives to describe situations as well as the setting in detail. The objective is to provide the reader with a complete image and can be observed in the following quotation:

At the end of a long walkway sat a caramel-colored house with white trim and red accents. An elevated porch with a wooden latticework skirt wrapped around two sides of the first level. A round two-story tower with a cone-shaped roof jutted from the left corner of the house and was topped with a weather vane.” (ibid. 257).

As shown above, the author describes places, people and music very detailed, and therefore offers the chance to create a wide-ranging image in the reader’s mind.