“The stars were shining, and the leaves rustled in the woods ever so mournful; and I heard an owl, away off, who-whooing about somebody that was dead, and a whippowill and a dog crying about somebody that was going to die; and the wind was trying to whisper something to me, and I couldn’t make out what it was, and so it made the cold shivers run over me”
Mark Twain surely has a way with words, just as many other eminent authors do! This passage in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn shows the rich language Twain uses to describe nature.
The personification of the “leaves” in: …The leaves rustled in the woods ever so mournful…” gives almost an aural imagery as we understand that this is a lonely time even though “The stars were shining”. This loneliness is accentuated as Twain depicts an owl being “away off”, rather than just “who-whooing” in the woods. The aural imagery of this owl and “a dog crying about somebody that was going to die” sets the scene in the text to be sad, lonely and almost scary. This is evident in the “cold shivers [that] run over me”. The personification of the wind in: “the wind was trying to whisper something to me”, again proves Mark Twain description of nature with such vividness and immediacy.