There are two types of language used in the story. Abstract language which involves the narrator talking about the treatment of her mother highlighting the struggles and desire for complete freedom. The other type of language is, language of emotion which is portrayed by the narrator as she expresses her feelings throughout the story, for instance, when she visited her mother. “Sometimes I wanted to speak, yet I was not able to open my mouth or raise my tongue. I wondered if she saw the struggle in my eyes.” 449. Although the story is set in the Caribbean there is no evidence of Creole. The use of the Creole language was not used in the narration or in conversations amongst characters.

The narrator uses personification in order to give human qualities to the Madonna to emphasize her importance and stature throughout this work of prose. The speaker also uses repetition in the form “bloody” images to depict the atrocities inflicted on her mother during the course of the plot. Some examples of this is at the beginning when Josephine visits her mother at the prison which was filled with the smell of “urine and excrement.” (448), “her teeth was dark red…caked with blood…” “….pulling the scabs from the bruises…a line of blood dripping…” (449) “Her face was bleeding….” (450) “We came from the bottom of the river where the blood never stops flowing…” (451). Almost every page of the story gave a reflection of the “bloody” images, indicating the hardship and pain involved in the excerpt.

The overt use of similes trough out such as “The yellow prison building was like a fort…”, “The prison yard was quiet as a cave…”, “my mother emerged as a ghost…”(448) and “…seen at night rising from the ground like birds on fire.” (449), creatively adds to the semantic depth of the narrative and helps readers to depict the images as intended by the narrator.

Additionally, the noticeably use of short or simple sentences for example, “My Madonna cried.” (447), “I said nothing.” (448) and “She smiled” (449); hastens the fast paced feel to the extract of description (Simpson 60) and helps convey an overemotional tension of the unfolding of the story by the narrator.

Also, the anaphoric repetition of the phrase “Our mothers” and the mesodiplosis repetition of “we were the…” not only emphasizes the impact of these declaring statements but, adds to the intensity of emotions where the plural possessive and personal pronoun speaks and connects with the readers.