The language of the short story “Suffer the Little Children” by Stephen King is accessible and easy to follow. The author uses common English with simple words. The story is often very descriptive, particularly in connection to the way the characters look and act. This creates imagery because the language help readers form mental images of what is being narrated: “His face suddenly ran together like melting wax, the eyes flattening and spreading like knife-struck egg yolks, nose widening and yawning, mouth disappearing. The head elongated, and the hair was suddenly not hair but straggling, twitching growths.” 

The main mode of conveying the text is the narrative mode, but dialogue is also used occasionally to add to the characterization and to convey some of the characters’ interactions.

Also, note that the writer uses different formatting styles to convey additional meanings. Whenever Miss Sidley’s thoughts are presented they are written using italics. The same format is also used sometimes when she is speaking, to suggest that she emphasizes certain words.

To increase the appeal of the text and to add to the meaning of the text, the author also uses numerous figures of speech and language devices, some of which we outline next.


A wide number of similes can be identified in the text. The...

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