A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls Imagery

Creaking Branches (Auditory Imagery)

When the monster first visits Conor, Ness describes the noises the monster makes as it finds its form within the yew tree: "Other branches twisted around one another, always creaking, always groaning until they formed two long arms and a second leg to set down beside the main trunk." In this example of auditory imagery, Ness draws on multiple senses to emphasize the fantastical image of the yew tree transforming into a humanoid being.

Rush of Panic, Twisting Guts (Organic Imagery)

In response to the first time the monster calls Conor's name, Conor feels "a rush of panic, his guts twisting." In this example of organic imagery, Ness focuses on the internal sensations Conor feels to illustrate how Conor's body registers the monster's voice before his mind can make sense of where the voice is coming from.

Metallic Blood (Gustatory Imagery)

As Conor enters the school yard, Harry trips Conor and he bites the inside of his lip. Ness uses gustatory imagery to illustrate how Conor perceives the taste of the blood in his mouth as a "strange metallic flavor that made you want to spit it out immediately, like you’d eaten something that wasn’t food at all." In this passage, Ness captures the alien experience of suddenly having blood in one's mouth, and how the mind and tastebuds scramble to decipher what the foreign, metallic flavor might be.

Moved and Breathed (Kinesthetic Imagery)

When describing the monster as it first assumes its form from the yew tree, Ness writes that "the rest of the tree gathered itself into a spine and then a torso, the thin, needle-like furry skin that moved and breathed as if there were muscles and lungs underneath." In this example of kinesthetic imagery, Ness enhances the monster's animal-like appearance by describing the movement of what would be its lungs.