Literary Terms in the True Sorrows of Calamity Jane - Literary Analysis Essay

Published: 2021-07-05
606 words
3 pages
6 min to read
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The true sorrows of Calamity Jane, a story was written by Joseph Boyden, is a magnificent piece. The authors ability to engage is natural and unavoidable. What makes the story captivating it is the use of figurative language which is especially seen in the creation of defined voices. This makes the reader feel as if he/she is in the story walking alongside Jane as she grieved. This made the story very concise and smooth. The individual voices used intertwine so flawlessly. This story uses varied forms of literary techniques which the essay aims to explore.

The use of symbolism is seen in most of the short story. One of the parts that symbolism was seen is the description of Will Bills rotting body. The body goes from just being dead to decompose then finally sunken in and dreadfully smelly (Joseph, 2009). What the symbol depicts is the changing life of Jane that began to deteriorate in a way after the funeral.

Another literary style is seen in the use of climax in which the story is told. The ending connected well back to the beginning of the story. It is also seen to start with a climax and the information given is vivid and just enough to bring about a clear understanding. It is considered the most important element of any story since all the excitement seen in the story comes to a breaking point where things have to change. It is considered to be the most theatrical, evocative and most thrilling moment of the story.

There is also the use of common terms such metaphors which give a vivid comparison between two different and unrelated things in a story. A good example is where Janes sad life after the burial is compared to Bills dead body in the essence that Jane suffers after the burial in comparison to the decaying body (Joseph, 2009). It is used to accentuate the similarity of the two situations poetically without being taken literary.

Another literary style used in the play is the use of description as Boyden gave a great deal of information on every occasion in the short story. A good example is how he went into detail about the scene in the tent. The importance of this description was that the reader felt he/she was a part of the play as one could almost feel the wretched stench of the decaying body.

Plot and Character devices are the most important element of any story as it gives meaning to a story. For a story to take place, things must happen to thought-provoking people who are flawed and are capable of adapting to change. Plots need to be simple and lined though the characters are the components of any story. This story is seen to have a good plot and the relationship between the characters is clear is a good expression of the simplistic brilliance of its dialog. This had the effect of revealing how complex compositions can be with the use of many elements that patch the story together.

However, the story is seen to be a cliche as one can almost predict its end before he/she gets to that point. It is intense, but then the readers interest is not completely drawn. Every story needs a plot that they can relate to or capture their interest, and in most readers view, this short story does not play the part. What I felt was that the body of the story was not complete as it beginning felt like its ending.


Joseph, B. (2009). The True Story of Calamity Jane. Retrieved from


Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: