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The Borrowers

The Borrowers


by Mary Norton

Analysis: Writing Style


Let's jump right in and check out a scene. How about the one in which Mrs. Driver discovers the borrowers?

And then she shrieked, loud and long. She saw movement: a running, a scrambling, a fluttering! She heard a squeaking, a jabbering, and a gasping. Little people, they looked like, with hands and feet… and mouths opening. That's what they looked like… but they couldn't be that of course! Running here, there, and everywhere. (17.6)

Fast-paced, right? The list of all those thrilling verbs like "running, a scrambling, a fluttering! […] squeaking, a jabbering, and a gasping" gets our hearts racing. And when you combine that with the well-timed pauses (the ellipses, or "…") that create suspense, you have the perfect recipe for nonstop excitement.

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