(i) (ii) the choice of words used to describe the insects
1. ‘an unscrupulous enemy’ – the phrase used by the author to describe a mosquito.
2. ‘a beast of prey’ – a phrase the author uses to describe the mosquito again.
3. ‘noble creatures’ – the contrasting manner in which the bees and wasps are describes by the author in comparison to the mosquito
4. ‘notorious’ – how the author describes the bees for their anger
5. ‘quiet and inoffensive’ – how the author describes the bee as a creature, in stark contrast with the mosquito.
(i) (iii) the style of narration – the exalting status of insects and exaggerating their powers of both sound and performance.
1. ‘as the bizz of the dentist’s drill or the saw mill’
The author exaggerates as he compares the humming of insects to the buzzing of a dentist’s drill or the shrieking of a saw mill, which are definitely much louder and noisier than the delicate hum of an insect.
2. ‘notorious for its crossness’
The author adds a touch of humour as he personifies the bee and describes its being infamous for its anger and retaliation, expressed in an exaggerative way.
3. ‘its note is offensive’
The author describes the buzzing of a mosquito as an offensive note, which is a rather humorous description for a minute creature.
4. ‘an unscrupulous enemy’
The author describes the mosquito as an unscrupulous enemy, which has no moral principles at all. It attacks without being attacked. This is a really humorous way of presenting the mosquito’s habits to the readers.
5. ‘it is out for blood’
The mosquito, which feeds on blood, is described like a serial killer, that is out for blood.
6. ‘noble creatures’
Bees and wasps are described as noble creature; they attack only when harmed.
7. ‘tedious company’
Insects are described as tedious company, an exaggeration for describing them as creatures one doesn’t enjoy being around for more than some time.
(ii) The use of humour can really bring out the best even in the dreariest of subjects, when it comes to writing. On other occasions, it can paint a picture so beautifully for the reader, by means of exaggerated comparisons and humorous puns. Robert Lynd does just the same in “The Hum of Insects”, as he goes on to describe beautifully what the humming of different insects does to different individuals along with interesting anecdotes and examples.
The author starts off by describing how the hum of insects gently transcends from being a pleasant musical note in the garden to the buzz of a dentist’s drill or saw mill in the bedroom. The reason, he states, is not just the offensiveness of the note, but also the character of the insect itself, in this case a mosquito which is not less than a backstabbing enemy. The bees and wasps are comparatively much politer, and sting only in defence, or when angry. In fact, their crossness is famous far and wide, as also is their distinction for being indistinct.
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