Of all the literary devices used in my book, The Lerewood, I believe I use personification the most, as it plays an important role in the story. I describe the Lerewood forest as if it were alive, because in a way, it is.
The wood was pitch-black. Lingering in one spot did him no good and fear came quite easily, so Uallas found it best to walk again. He couldn't see a thing except the foliage, which seemed to cast an eerie glow. Even in the darkness, the trees acted as lamps, giving off the tiniest hint of green light. The light was so faint, it barely provided Uallas with guidance to see ahead. He could see only the trees that stood closest to him. He felt like the trees had the power to direct him to safety, but they wanted to torture him. They took away his senses and only granted him the vision they wanted him to have, and it was just enough to see the trees that stood like creatures with souls, creatures that watched him with rugged eyes deep inside their trunks. They wanted to scare and threaten him. The man could swear the trees were glowing, and only the trees that led to Ilere would glow, leading him right along that path without his knowledge. Somewhere, there could be a pathway coated in darkness, but it would be the pathway to safety and freedom. Uallas did not trust the trees. He did not like them staring at him.
~Excerpt from Chapter 4
When someone dies inside the Lerewood forest, the trees absorb the soul. As the townspeople of Lerewood are a natural evil, the trees—rotted and decayed from harboring such evil—serve as a protection against the evil spreading and infecting the rest of the world, sort of like a strainer. They only allow the good and the innocent souls to pass through…although there is only one. The Lerewood forest is vast, stretching for miles all around the small town of Lerewood, and its vastness also serves as protection, for it is harder to escape a forest so large compared to one so small you could walk through it within an hour or two.
But the trees don’t just harbor evil souls, like jail cells. They are also alive, and will attack the townspeople if Ilere orders it, or if their dark queen is threatened.
Ilere defended herself with the forest. The trees swung their branches and swatted men and women. The children were too small for the branches to reach them. They crouched down and took cover while their mothers and fathers were whipped. Vines lifted from trees and grabbed arms and legs. The fury of Ilere emanated off the vines like violent puppets; they tore limbs, and within seconds, a good portion of the army was already dead.
~Excerpt from Chapter 10
The message I wanted to give by personifying the forest in The Lerewood is one quite literal—nature is alive. Not quite as alive as the Lerewood forest, but it deserves more love and respect than humanity treats it.
It was a war between humanity and nature—we kill nature; it has no powers to get revenge. We take for granted what gives us oxygen and shelter, food and lumber. We don't give back, and the Lerewood forest fights for all the forests of the world.
~Excerpt from Chapter 10
I hope that by reading The Lerewood, my readers will think more about forest conservation and humanity’s destructive impact on nature. To read more about the ghostly Lerewood forest, you can get my novella at Kellan Publishing here.
Check out my previous blog here in which I discuss dialogue in The Lerewood.
~ Andrea Churchill
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