SUPPLEMENT 1. SAMPLES OF STYLISTIC ANALYSIS
1. My dad had a small insurance agency in Newport. He had moved there because his sister had married old Newport money and was a big wheel in the Preservation Society. At fifteen I'm an orphan, and Vic moves in. «From now on you'll do as I tell you,» he says. It impressed me. Vic had never really shown any muscle before. (N.T.)
The first person singular pronouns indicate that we deal either with the entrusted narrative or with the personage's uttered monologue.
The communicative situation is highly informal. The vocabulary includes not only standard colloquial words and expressions such as «dad», «to show muscle» (which is based on metonymy), the intensifying «really», but also the substandard metaphor – «a big wheel». The latter also indicates the lack of respect of the speaker towards his aunt, which is further sustained by his metonymical qualification of her husband («old Newport money»).
The syntax, too, participates in conveying the atmosphere of colloquial informality – sentences are predominantly short. Structures are either simple or, even when consisting of two clauses, offer the least complicated cases of subordination.
The change of tenses registers changes in the chronology of narrated events. Especially conspicuous is the introduction of Present Indefinite (Simple) Tense, which creates the effect of immediacy and nearness of some particular moment, which, in its turn, signifies the importance of this event, thus foregrounding it, bringing it into the limelight - and making it the logical and emotional centre of the discourse.
2. He had heard everything the Boy said however – was waiting for the right moment to wrap up his silence, roll it into a weapon and hit Matty over the head with it. He did so now. (W.G1.)
In this short extract from W. Golding's Darkness Visible the appearance of a person who was an unnoticed witness to a conversation is described. The unexpectedness of his emergence is identified with the blow in the sustained metaphor which consists of three individual verb metaphors showing stages of an aggressive action.
The abrupt change of sentence length and structure contributes to the expressiveness of the passage.
3. And out of the quiet it came to Abramovici that the battle was over, it had left him alive; it had been a battle – a battle! You know where people go out and push little buttons and pull little triggers and figure out targets and aim with the intention to kill, to tear your guts, to blow out у our brains, to put great ragged holes in the body you've been taking care of and feeding and washing all your life, holes out of which your blood comes pouring, more blood than you ever could wash off, hold back, stop with all the bandages in the world! (St.H.)
Here we deal with the change «of the type of narration: from the author's narrative, starting the paragraph, to represented inner speech of the character. The transition tells on the vocabulary which becomes more colloquial (cf. «guts») and more emotional (cf. the hyperbole «all the bandages in the world»); on the syntax brimming with parallelisms; on tne punctuation passing on to the emphatic points of exclamation and dashes; on the morphology. «Naive» periphrases are used to describe the act of firing and its deadly effect Third person pronouns give way to the second person («you», «your») embracing both communicants – the personage (author) and the reader, establishing close links between them, involving the reader into the feelings and sentiments of the character.
Very important is repetition. Besides syntactical repetition (parallelism) mentioned above, pay attention to the repetition of «battle», because it is this word which on one hand, actually marks the shift from one type of narration to another (the first «battle» bringing in the author's voice, the last two – that of Abramovici). On the other hand, the repetition creates continuity and cohesion and allows the two voices merge, making the transition smooth and almost imperceptible.
4. «This is Willie Stark, gents. From up home at Mason City. Me and Willie was in school together. Yeah, and Willie, he was a bookworm, and he was teacher's pet. Wuzn't you, Willie?» And Alex nudged the teacher's pet in the ribs. (R.W.)
Alex's little speech gives a fair characteristic of the speaker. The substandard «gents», colloquial «me», irregularities of grammar («me and Willie was»), pronunciation (graphon «wuzn't»), syntax («Willie, he was»), abundance of set phrases («he was a bookworm», «he was a teacher's pet», «from up home») – all this shows the low educational and cultural level of the speaker.
It is very important that such a man introduces the beginning politician to his future voters and followers. In this way R. P. Warren stresses the gap between the aspiring and ambitious, but very common and run-of-the-mill young man starting on his political career, and the false and ruthless experienced politician in the end of this road.
Note the author's ironic attitude towards the young Stark which is seen from the periphrastic nomination of the protagonist («teacher's pet») in the author's final remark.
5. From that day on, thundering trains loomed in his dreams – hurtling, sleek, black monsters whose stack pipes belched gobs of serpentine smoke, whose seething fireboxes coughed out clouds of pink sparks, whose pushing pistons sprayed jets of hissing steam - panting trains that roared yammeringly over farflung, gleaming rails only to come to limp and convulsive halts – long, fearful trains that were hauled brutally forward by red-eyed locomotives that you loved watching as they (and you trembling) crashed past (and you longing to run but finding your feet strangely glued to the ground). (Wr.)
This paragraph from Richard Wright is a description into which the character's voice is gradually introduced first through the second person pronoun «you», later also graphically and syntactically – through the so-called embedded sentences, which explicitly describe the personage's emotions.
The paragraph is dominated by the sustained metaphor «trains» = «monsters». Each clause of this long (the length of this one sentence, constituting a whole paragraph, is over 90 words) structure contains its own verb-metaphors «belched», «coughed out», «sprayed», etc., metaphorical epithets contributing to the image of the monster – «thundering», «hurtling», «seething», «pushing», «hissing», etc. Their participial form also helps to convey the effect of dynamic motion. The latter is inseparable from the deafening noise, and besides «roared», «thundering», «hissing», there is onomatopoeic «yammeringly».
The paragraph abounds in epithets – single (e.g. «serpentine smoke»), pairs (e.g. «farflung, gleaming rails»), strings («hurtling, sleek, black monsters»), expressed not only by the traditional adjectives and participles but also by qualitative adverbs («brutally», «yammeringly»). Many epithets, as it was mentioned before, are metaphorical, included into the formation of the sustained metaphor. The latter, besides the developed central image of the monstrous train, consists of at least two minor ones – «red-eyed locomotives», «limp and convulsive halts».
The syntax of the sentence-paragraph shows several groups of parallel constructions, reinforced by various types of repetitions (morphological – of the – ing-suffix, caused by the use of eleven participles; anaphoric –of «whose»; thematic – of the word «train»). All the parallelisms and repetitions create a definitely perceived rhythm of the passage which adds to the general effect of dynamic motion.
Taken together, the abundance of verbs and verbals denoting fast and noisy action, having a negative connotation, of onomatopoeic words, of repetitions – all of these phonetic, morphological, lexical and syntactical means create a threatening and formidable image, which both frightens and fascinates the protagonist.
“Сat in the Rain” by Ernest Hemingway
The story I’m going to analyze is titled “Cat in the Rain”, written by Ernest Hemingway in the 1920´s. He is one of the most favourite American novelists, a short-story writer and essayist, whose deceptively simple prose style has influenced wide range of writers.
The story is interesting from the point of view of the author's approach to conveying the main idea to the mind of the reader. It is always implicit and remains unspoken. It is the reader himself who should find it behind the simple, at first sight, description of the events.
Hemingway presents only sequence of outward actions and leaves the reader to imagine more than the words themselves can convey. This is characteristic of Hemingway's manner of writing he is famous for.
The story "Cat in the rain" reflects the writer's approach to life in general. It is about an American couple on vacation in Italy. While at their hotel the woman sees a cat and the story progresses from there. During the story it is made obvious that the couple's relationship is going sour. Hemingway uses the cat stuck in the rain, with nobody to care for, to symbolize the wife who longs to be loved.
Hemingway's title to his story, "Cat in the Rain" carries more meaning than the literal cat in the rain. Indeed, the story talks about a cat stuck in the rain; however, this is not what Hemingway meant when he wrote the story. His character, the American Wife, alludes to the title of the story by presenting elements of confinement similar to that of the cat.
The story is written from third - person narration. The author tells the story as a looker.
We are first introduced to George and his wife, the latter is referred by as the "American Wife" in the first sentence of the story. This title lacks individuality and has no special meaning, signifying that she is just a mere American Woman and nothing else. This already confines the character in a little cage, since it implies that she will never get herself out of the hole where society has placed her. George does not help much, rarely paying attention to her whenever she demands his care. This is evident when she sees "a cat...crouched under one of the dripping green tables", and points it out to her husband, who offers to help from his bed. Two points can be inferred from this event: first, George discards all the trivial things the wife says and does not provide her with any attention, making her feel that she must demand it. This lack of attention makes her feel that she does not have much freedom to express herself and keeps much of her feelings inside. Second and most importantly, she seems to connect with the cat, "the cat was trying to make herself so compact so that she would not be dripped on". She definitely feels the restraint that George has put on her, and in order to please him, she attempts to make herself compact just like the cat.
The text of the story is not homogeneous: it is interrupted with the elements of description and the characters’ dialogues. The writer’s strong sense of place is revealed by the use of foreignisms: “Si, si, signora, brutto tempo” and so on. The very structure of the story adds to the effect of implication but the actual meaning of what is going on is not clear at the beginning of the story, as the feelings suggested by the writer are not precisely determined.
The plot of the story is meant to begin before the narration itself starts. There isn't any preface to the story; the reader knows nothing about the couple’s past. Hemingway shows his characters in a certain period of their lives - his favorite device.
Concerning the setting, we can see that this story begins with the description of the hotel where they stayed. At first sight everything seems to be ideal: a cozy room on the second floor, lovely view from the window. And only the description of the rain evokes the mood of sadness in the reader. To bring home to the reader this air of melancholy, which is felt when it is raining, the author uses such stylistic device as parallel constructions: "The rain dripped from the palm trees. The water stood in pools on the gravel paths. The sea broke in a long line in the rain and slipped back down the beach to come up and break again in a long line in the rain ". One can notice that nouns rain, pools, sea belongs to one semantic sphere - the water. This stylistic device is employed by the author to create the atmosphere of inevitability. One cannot hide from the rain. Water is everywhere: it is on the ground, it is pouring from the heavens as though the nature weeps for something. All this pricks the reader's ears and makes him think that something will happen with this American couple. In this abstract the author also resorts to the help of stylistic device known as alliteration, namely the repetition of the sounds -r-and -l-: "Rain dripped from the palm trees, the sea broke in a long line in the rain" which brings the necessary measured rhythm into the utterance. Skillfully combining these three stylistic devices the writer obtains the needed effect: within three sentences he gives an exhaustive picture of one of the melancholic rainy evenings when time goes by so slowly. It is also the syntax that serves for this purpose.
The exposition is represented with following word: “The American wife stood at the window looking out. Outside right under their window a cat was crouched under one of the dripping green tables. The cat was trying to make herself so compact that she would be dripped on”.
The author resorts to parallel constructions consisting of short simple sentences to create a downcast atmosphere of dull, monotonous evening and at the same time presentiment and alarming anticipation of something that is likely to happen in the nearest time.
The wife never speaks out about the restraint George puts on her, but rather feels it. The main reason behind this is her transformation from being the "American Wife" to the "American Girl”. To the general public, a girl seems to have less restraints due to her youth and innocence, while a wife has her (and her husband's) image to protect. Hemingway's choice of words implies that she feels the restraints being lifted once she left her hotel room, leaving her husband behind. Hemingway provides other evidence for George's restraints by presenting the hotel keeper, whom the wife has a liking for. Described as an "old man and very tall", the wife has a liking for him, especially his many qualities such as "the deadly serious way he received any complaints...his dignity...the way he wanted to serve her." Hemingway never says anything about the wife loving or liking George, further supporting the idea of him putting some sort of restraint on her.
Emphasizing the girl's attitude to the hotel-keeper the author resorts to repetition: "She liked the deadly serious way he received any complains. She liked his dignity. She liked the way he wanted to serve her. She liked the way he felt about being a hotelkeeper. She liked his old, heavy face and big hands ". Unconsciously comparing him with her indifferent husband she liked him because he displayed a kind of attention to her. He always bowed seeing her. His attention can be explained by the fact that he was the owner of the hotel and it was his due to take care of his clients, especially if they were foreigners. He just wanted them to feel comfortable and convenient. He displayed paternal care and attention to her. May be the girl was disposed to the hotelkeeper because he reminded her of her own father who was always kind to her. Anyway, it was so pleasant for the girl to feel sympathy and care. The author says: "The pardon made her feel very small and at the same time really important. She had a momentary feeling of being of supreme importance". That is the reason she liked him. He made her feel important. He listened to her every word and request, and she knew that her every little whim will be fulfilled, and that can not be said about her husband who never worried about her feelings.
Quite the opposite picture the reader can see when the girl went upstairs in her room. The only reaction of her husband was the question if she got the cat. He did not notice her disappointment. Suddenly the girl felt unhappy. Through her sad monologue the writer shows all her dissatisfaction with the life, beginning with the absence of the cat and ending with her short clipped hair. "I get so tired of it”.
The author underlines the idea of dissatisfaction using repetition. In importunate repetition of the construction "I want" the reader can see the girl's emotional state. This stylistic device discloses her excitement; she is on the verge of hysterics. The emotional tension increases. "And I want to eat at a table with my own silver, and I want candles. And I want it to be spring and I want to brush up my hair out in front of the mirror and I want the kitty and I want some new clothes ". Here is an example of polysyndeton. The abundant use of the conjunction and makes the members of enumeration more conspicuous and also serves to emphasize the girl's state of confusion.
The syntax also contributes to the effect of extreme agitation of the girl. The writer deliberately avoids the use of commas in the girl's speech to show uninterrupted, without any pauses flow of speech, which testifies to her emotional excitement.
This extract may be regarded as the climax of the story. Here the emotional tension reaches its highest degree. The girl throws out all her discontent, all her negative emotions which she accumulated during her life with her husband. Then the peak of the climax comes: "Oh, shut up and get something to read" says her husband. Estrangement grows between two people. The girl feels insulted and stays looking out of the window. It is still raining. The rain is present during the whole narration. It is the silent witness of the running high drama. The rain pierces the plot of the story and has a symbolic meaning. It symbolizes their unfortunate family life.
The main stylistic device the story is built upon is suspense. The author deliberately postpones the denouement keeping the reader in pressing anticipation. Hemingway's wonderful mastery of the language permits him to keep the reader tense till the denouement. Although everything seems to lie on the surface, but indeed the reader should make a great effort to derive the unspoken reference from the description of the facts. Hemingway's scrupulous attention to details permits him to introduce the hidden idea between the lines, without saying it directly. Hemingway's talent lies in deep psychological insight into human nature.
Altogether I would say that the theme of the story is the problem when one partner becomes dominant or repressive and the other is trying to change and improve the situation. If they are aware of their problems they might be able to save their marriage, but if they do not recognize that their relationship will become more and more like the depressive weather in this short story until their love dies.
Foreign Languages Department student
“In a Strange Land” by S. Maugham
I’m going to analyse the story “In a Strange Land” written by William Somerset Maugham. He is an English author, expert storyteller and a master of fiction technique. An introverted child afflicted with a stammer, Maugham was orphaned at 10 ad sent to live with his uncle, a vicar. Although he later studied medicine and completed his internship, he never practiced, having decided at an early age to devote himself to literature.
Maugham wrote with wit and irony, frequently expressing a cynical attitude towards life. The story “In a strange land” is a deep and well written work. The reader can anticipate the content of the story with the help of the title. It has two functions. First of all, emotive, because we can see the author’s evaluation. Precisely, the land, the country in which the story takes place seems and accepted by the author as a rather strange place. And the second one – topical - because it indicates whereabouts of the action. And we can deduce that the story takes place somewhere probably in an exotic country.
However the whole semantic meaning of the title may be fully determined only in the retrospectation, after reading and analyzing all the text information. The reader can just build up some guessings. The theme of this work is an interaction of human characters under certain circumstances. In our case it cannot be fully understood from the title. But according to it we can definitely say that the events of the story and the life of the main character were influenced by this strange land in which the story takes place and about which it is mentioned in the title. According to the plot we see that the theme of this story is connected with love, to be precise with what people are ready to do if they really have deep feelings. In our story this person ready to do everything for the love turned out to be an Englishwoman, Signora Nicolini, who has left her Motherland and previous life following her love. The author also reinforces the idea that whatever happens to her, no matter which problems she faces in a foreign land, she does not, so to say, betray her culture and her way of upbringing, moreover she carries everything she gained from her country and culture through the years. By the rhetorical question: “Is it romance they have sought, or freedom?” the author of the story gives the readers some food for thought, to reason about the implied idea of the story.
The author conveys his message to the reader through the system of images. And we can without hesitation say that they are the result of his life, observations, and his imagination. This story is a first person narration. So we see that one of the characters is the author himself. He starts the story, beginning with the periphrasis: I am of roving disposition (= I’m fond of travelling). Thus from the first lines we see that he likes travelling and is going to tell us something that had happened to him during his journey. Though the main character, the protagonist of this story is Signora Nicolini, that very Englishwoman who left her home many years ago to follow a man, whom she so much loved. She is considered to be a protagonist because her role in the story is significant, it is major, and there wouldn’t be any story without her. We mostly build up our opinion about this character according to the description which we gain from the author, but nevertheless the information and the attitude to this character is expressed implicitly through the dialogue. The way the characters behave while speaking tells us a lot about their inner world and the state of their minds. And with the help of images we can understand the author’s subjective description of objective reality. To my mind Signora Nicolini is a flat, static character because during the whole story the author characterizes her mostly from one side, precisely that she was a loyal and determined person, who was not afraid of anything, of going to an unknown rather exotic country, following her love, adopting her husband’s children, which he got while already being married to her. We also get acquainted with Signor Nicolini who died fifteen years ago but who is not forgotten in Signora Nicolini’s house and is still loved and admired by her. Even thoughР
Even though we feel his presence in the story, he is considered to be a minor character as he doesn’t take any actions in it. There are two more personages whose role is also minor. These are two handsome men, the Signor Nicolini’s sons, whom she adopted so generously and kindly. After getting through the whole story we can deduce that the protagonist of the story is non other than the inner world of Signora Nicolini, her feelings, emotions, we can even say her fate which led her to that unknown world of Asia Minor. Even though the years have passed her inner world, the devotion to her traditions and culture which were not able to be forgotten and eradicated from the memory, habits - they remained the same. While describing the image of a classical Englishwoman living in an unusual, not suitable to her at all place, the author uses a kind of attachment:
“… never fails to give me a little shock of amused astonishment. This is the elderly Englishwoman.” In this case it serves as a sort of additional information to the previous sentence.
The dialogue plays quite an important role in the story, because through it we can learn a lot about the inner world of the characters, their level of education, habits, state of mind and the way of perception of life generally. It is mentioned that Signora Nicolini had a cockney accent and we can clearly see it in her inner represented speech: “’ot-water bottle”, “I’aven’t spoken”, etc.
There is an inner conflict in the story. It is the conflict of the main character, Signora Nicolini, with her inner world and feelings. At the very first sight it seems that Signora Nicolini is a calm and peaceful person, being always happy with her life. But if we go deeper and try to penetrate into her inner world, we will be able to understand how brave this woman is, how many things she was able to accept, forgive and just go along with… The breaking of any kind of relations with her family, leaving her beloved country, living in a foreign place, and the most impressive – forgiving the betrayal of her husband and the acceptance of his children as her own. These are the things which make up think what made her so strong? The answer is clear – love. It the love which she carried through the years in her heart and which helped her to cope with different life situations.
The plot of the story seems to be rather simple, but the end is quite unexpected. During the whole story we think that Signor Nicolini was a very good man, because it is Signora Nicolini who persuades us in it by her admiration. But after we find out that he got two sons from the Greek girl who used to work in the hotel our opinion about both of them changes. The events of the story are in chronological order but sometimes the author gives us the information bringing back Signora Nicolini’s memories. The plot touches upon the love affairs, the relation between people, between cultures. In general the story is about one Englishwoman who many years ago left her country, England, her parents and relatives in order to follow her only love – an Italian man whose surname was Nicolini. She made her dream come true – they got married. And her whole love she lived cheek to cheek with this man, being always dedicated to him and deeply in love. One day the author had a chance to get acquainted with this woman and together with us, the readers, he discloses the life of this woman.
The story begins with the exposition. Here the author introduces the theme, the setting and the main character. The action takes place in Asia Minor, in a little town in which the author arrived after a tedious journey, in a hotel which belonged to our major character - Signora Nicolini. The description of the author creates an atmosphere of something exotic, the undiscovered place for the reader, and keeps the reader in suspense about the fact what really made this Englishwoman come to this “strange land”. While exposing the author uses a number of expressive means. First of all, it is the gradation which starts from the first lines of the story and which is followed by the anticlimax starting with the words: “I avoid the great. I would not cross the road to meet a president or a king”, etc. The author also uses some emphatic constructions such as inversion: “I should be inclined to say that I am not surprised to meet any sort of person were it not that there is one sort that I am….” The metonymy “a plate of Old Worcester” the author uses to show the epoch. And the exposition is finished by a rhetorical question: “Is it romance they have sought, or freedom?” to make the readers reason a bit about the power that make such Englishwomen move to such extraordinary places.
The second structural component which follows the exposition is complication. To the complication we can refer the moment when Signora Nicolini had a conversation with the author as her guest. During the whole talking there was a kind of suspense: what is there so significant in this Englishwoman that the author has decided to dedicate the whole story to her?
The third component is the climax. In our case it comes the moment when Signora Nicolini introduces two men to the author: her sons. To be precise, the children of the late Signor Nicolini and the Greek girl, who used to work in the hotel. And this very moment we realize what is there so special about this Englishwoman.
The general atmosphere of the story is maintained by a style and tone, by the plot, the setting, and by characters. The tone is quite impassive, but the setting, precisely the Asia Minor, creates the atmosphere of something unknown. The major character, Signora Nicolini, also influences the atmosphere of the story. Her way of talking, her manners, habits, her upbringing do not coincide with the surrounding area she lives in. It makes us think why do the author enumerates all her pluses and at the same time makes us think what is the mystery about her life and what gives her power to stay in good mood even in this unknown country, because even though she has already spent many years in this region, this country, it could not become her land.
The message of this story is created by the interaction of many components, such as type of the text, composition, setting, characters, plot, etc. It is disclosed by the dialogue between the author and Signora Nicolini and by the inner represented speech. To my mind the author by this story tries to show us what the real love is and what it can make people to do, which actions to take. It makes people brave, taking crazy actions, adore a person from the bottom of their hearts and even forgive the betrayal…
The story is written in belles-lettres style, the language of fiction and is an abundance of different stylistic devices and expressive means. The author uses parenthesis several times: “But of all these Englishwomen whom I have met or perhaps only heard of (for as I have said they are difficult of access)… ”, “There is nothing I like more (if we were not all sick to death of the war tell you the story of how six men risked their lives to fetch a hot-water bottle from a chateau in Flanders that was being bombarded)…”, etc. which gives some additional information to the sentence. There is also an emphatic construction: “the one who remains most vividly in my memory is an elderly person who lived in Asia Minor”. The author uses this device to reinforce the effect which Signora Nicolini made on him at the first sight. The author also uses several times the repetition of the word “astonishment” to reinforce his emotional condition at a particular moment and also inversion: “There is nothing I like more…”, “For what she said was strangely incongruous with her manner”, “… for whom allowance must be made.” There can be also seen a number of similes: “looked like a house-keeper in a great English house”, “she looked upon everyone who wasn’t English as a foreigner and therefore as someone, almost imbecile, for whom allowance must be made”. Maugham also uses anaphoric repetition: “It was not…” to make it more meaningful got the reader. In the same paragraph we can see the litotes: “It was not for nothing that she had been in service in a noble English family” which makes the reader think a bit about the real meaning of this phrase. We can also see a periphrasis which the author uses to soften the meaning of a phrase, to make it sound not glaringly: “Signor Nicolini was a very handsome man and for some years there had been an ‘understanding’ between them.” At the same time there are graphic means used with this word, which show us that the author means in this case something different by the word “understanding”. The text has a metaphor: “raw material”, a metonymy: “I shook hands with the pair…”, a number of epithets: “resounding kisses”, “a beautiful hot-water bottle”, an idiom: “they are the very image of Signor Nicolini” to make the speech more beautiful, expressive and impressive.
Somerset Maugham is a master of a short story writing and this work made me sure of it one more time. He skillfully depicts his characters and makes the reader think of the real meaning and calling of the work. The story, as all stories of this author, is unusual. At the first sight it seems to be plain, but it has a deep meaning and makes us think what is really important. It is a good example of what real love can be.
Foreign Languages Department student
Abstract and concreteare ways of describing important qualities of language. Abstract words are not associated with real, material objects that are related directly to the five senses. Such words as «love», «wisdom», «patriotism», and «power» are abstract because they refer to ideas rather than to things. Concrete language, on the other hand, names things that can be perceived by the five senses. Words like «table», «smoke», «lemon», and «halfback» are concrete.
Alliteration (Consonance) is the repetition of consonant sounds, but not vowels, as in assonance. It is a phonetic stylistic device which aims at imparting a melodic effect to the utterance.
Allusionis a reference to some literary, biographical, or historical event.
Analogyis a form of figurative comparison that uses a clear illustration to explain a difficult idea or function. It is unlike a formal comparison in that its subjects of comparison are from different categories or areas.
Antonomasiais the substitution of any epithet or phrase with a proper name. It is the interplay between the logical and nominal meanings of a word.
Antonymis a word that is opposite in meaning to that of another word: «hot» is an antonym of «cold»; «fat» is an antonym of «thin»; «large» is an antonym of «small».
Apokoinu construction presents a blend of two clauses into one, which is achieved at the expense of the omission of the connecting word and the double syntactical function acquired by tie unit occupying the linking position between both form clauses.
Aposiopesis is a rhetorical ellipsis used to indicate strong emotions paralyzing the character's speech or his deliberate stop in the utterance to conceal its meaning.
Argumentationis a form of writing in which you offer reasons in favour of or against something.
Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in non-rhyming words as in, «some ship in distress that cannot live». The i's in those words have same vowel sounds but they do not have to rhyme. It doesn't have to rhyme and usually only the vowels rhyme.
Causal analysisis a form of writing that examines causes and effects of events or conditions as they relate to a specific subject.
Chaotic/heterogeneous enumeration is the deliberate piling in a homogeneous syntactical line words so different semantically that they produce a humorous effect or express the idea of chaos.
Characterizationis the description of people. As a particular type of description in an essay, characterization attempts to capture as vividly as possible the features, qualities, traits, speech, and actions of individuals.
Chiasmus is reversed parallelism in which the repeated syntactical construction is reversed, compared to preceding sentence or clause. It can be the word order that is reversed, or the sequence of the main and subordinate clauses, or the form and the meaning of the statement.
Chronological orderis the arrangement of events in the order that they happened. One might use chronological order to trace the history of the Vietnam War, to explain a scientific process, or to present the biography of a close relative or friend. When you order an essay by chronology, you are moving from one step to the next in time.
Classificationis a pattern of writing where the author divides a subject into categories and then groups elements in each of those categories according to their relationships to each other.
Clichésare expressions that were once fresh and vivid, but have become tired and worn from overuse. «I'm so hungry that I could eat a horse» is a typical cliché. People use clichés in conversation, but writers should generally avoid them.
Coherenceis a quality in effective writing that results from the careful ordering of each sentence in a paragraph, and each paragraph in the essay. If an essay is coherent, each part will grow naturally and logically from those parts that come before it. Coherence depends on the writer's ability to organize materials in a logical way, and to order segments so that the reader is carried along easily from start to finish. The main devices used in achieving coherence are transitions, which help to connect one thought with another.
Comparison/contrastis a pattern of writing that treats similarities and differences between two subjects.
Compositionis a term used for any piece of writing that reveals a careful plan.
Connotation/denotationare terms specifying the way a word has meaning. Connotation refers to the «shades of meaning» that a word might have because of various emotional associations it calls up for writers and readers alike. Words like «American», «physician», «mother», «pig», and «San Francisco» have strong connotative overtones to them. With denotation, however, we are concerned not with the suggestive meaning of a word but with its exact, literal meaning. Denotation refers to the «dictionary definition» of a word – its exact meaning.
Context cluesare hints provided about the meaning of a word by another word or words, or by the sentence or sentences coming before or after it. Thus in the sentence, «Mr. Rome, a true raconteur, told a story that thrilled the guests», we should be able to guess at the meaning of the italicized word by the context clues coming both before and after it. (A «raconteur» is a person who tells good stories.)
Descriptionis a type of writing that uses details of sight, color, sound, smell, and touch to create a word picture and to explain or illustrate an idea.
Dialogueis the exact duplication in writing of something people say to each other. Dialogue is the reproduction of speech or conversation; it can add concreteness and vividness to an essay, and can also help to reveal character.
Divisionis that aspect of classification where the writer divides some large subject into categories. For example, one might divide «fish» into salt water and fresh water fish; or «sports» into team and individual sports.
Emphasissuggests the placement of the most important ideas in key positions in the essay. Writers can emphasize ideas simply by placing important ones at the beginning or at the end of the paragraph or essay.
Epithet is a stylistic device based on the interplay of emotive and logical meaning in an attributive word/phrase/sentence.
Euphemismis the use of a word or phrase simply because it seems less distasteful or less offensive than another word. For instance, «mortician» is a euphemism for «undertaker»; «sanitation worker» for «garbage collector».
Euphony is the sound arrangement of the utterance which intensifies its logical meaning. The phonetic aspect of the word corresponds to the idea expressed. If the message is pleasant & mild, the mild & pleasant sounds increase the impression, e.g. She is like a beautiful exotic flower that must be sheltered from bitter winds.
Fableis a narrative with a moral. The story from which the writer draws the moral can be either true or imaginary. It is important that a writer clearly presents the moral to be derived from the narrative.
Gap-Sentence Link is a peculiar type of connection of sentences that is not immediately apparent but requires a certain mental effort to bridge a semantic gap.
General and specific wordsare necessary in writing, although it is wise to keep your vocabulary as specific as possible. General words refer to broad categories and groups, while specific words capture with more force and clarity the nature of a term. The distinction between general and specific language is always a matter of degree. «A woman walked down the street» is more general than «Mrs. Walker walked down Fifth Avenue», while «Mrs. Webster, elegantly dressed in a muslin suit, strolled down Fifth Avenue» is more specific than the first two examples.
Gradation/climax is an arrangement of words in a sentence or sentences in a paragraph which secures a gradual increase in logical significance, importance, or emotional tension in the utterance.
Hyperbole/exaggeration/overstatement is a figure of speech in which statements are obviously exaggerated or extravagant. It may be used due to strong feelings or is used to create a strong impression and is not meant to be taken literally.
Illustrationis the use of several examples to support our idea.
Introductionsare the beginning or openings of literary works. Introductions should perform a number of functions. They alert the reader to the subject, set the limits of the essay, and indicate what the thesis (or main idea) will be. They arouse the reader's interest in the subject, so that the reader will want to continue reading. There are many techniques that can be used to develop introductions. It can be a single sentence or a much longer paragraph, but it must accomplish its purpose – to introduce readers to the subject, and to engage them so that they want to explore the essay further.
Ironyis the use of language to suggest the opposite of what is stated. Writers use irony to reveal unpleasant or troublesome realities that exist in life, or to poke fun at human weaknesses and foolish attitudes.
Jargonis the use of special words associated with a specific area of knowledge or a specific profession. It is similar to «shop talk» that members of a certain trade might know, but not necessarily people outside it.
Litotesis a negative construction that caries no negative meaning.
Metaphoris a type of figurative language in which an item from one category is compared briefly and imaginatively with an item from another area. Writers create metaphors to assign meaning to a word in an original way.
Metonymyis a SDbased on a different type of relation between the dictionary and contextual meanings, where a part of a notion substitutes the notion itself, e.g. the word crown may stand for king or queen.
Metre is the type of poetic rhythm of the line.
Narrationis telling a story in order to illustrate an important idea.
Objective/subjectivewriting refers to the attitude that writers take toward their subject. When writers are objective, they try not to report their own personal feelings about their subject. They attempt to control, if not eliminate, their own attitude toward the topic.
Onomatopoeais imitation of sounds produced in nature (wind, sea, thunder, etc.), by things (machines, tools, etc.), by people (singing, laughter), by animals.
Orderis the manner in which you arrange information or materials in an essay. The most common ordering techniques are chronological order (involving time sequence); spatial order (involving the arrangement of descriptive details); process order (involving a step-by-step approach to an activity); deductive order (in which you offer a thesis and then the evidence to support it); and inductive order (in which you present evidence first and build toward the thesis). Some rhetorical patterns such as comparison and contrast, classification, and argumentation require other ordering techniques.
Oxymoronis a combination of two words in which the meanings of the two clash, being opposite in sense. There is no true word-combination, but only the juxtaposition of two non-combinative words, e.g. sweet sorrow, horribly beautiful, a deafening silence.
Paradoxis a statement that seems to be contradictory but actually contains an element of truth. Writers use it in order to call attention to their subject.
Parallelismis a variety of sentence structure in which there is «balance» or coordination in the presentation of elements. «I came, I saw, I conquered» is a good example of parallelism, presenting both pronouns and verbs in a coordinated manner. Parallelism can also bee applied to several sentences and to entire paragraphs. It can be an effective way to emphasize ideas.
Paronyms are words similar though not identical in sound, but different in meaning, e.g. raven, never.
Periphrasis/circumlocution is a figure of speech where the meaning of a word or phrase is indirectly expressed through several or many words.
Personificationis giving an object, thing, or idea lifelike or human qualities. Like all forms of figurative writing, personification adds freshness to description, and makes ideas vivid by setting up striking comparisons.
Point of view is the angle from which a writer tells a story. Many personal or informal essays take the first-person (or «I») point of view. The first-person «I» point of view is natural and fitting for essays when the writer wants to speak in a familiar and intimate way to the reader. On the other hand, the third-person point of view («he», «she», «it», «they») distances the reader somewhat from the writer. The third-person point of view is useful where writers are not talking exclusively about themselves, but about other people, things, and events. Occasionally, the second-person («you») point of view will appear in texts, notably involving process analysis where the writer directs the reader to do something. Other point-of-view combinations are possible when a writer wants to achieve a special effect.
Polysyndeton is a stylistic device of connecting sentences, or phrases, or syntagms, or words by using connectives (mostly conjunctions and prepositions) before each component part.
Propositionis the main point in an argumentative essay. It is like a thesis except that it usually presents an idea that is debatable or can be disputed.
Pun is a SD based on contrast and the interaction of two well-known meanings of a word or phrase. It consists of a deliberate confusion of similar words or phrases for rhetorical effect, whether humorous or serious.
Purposerefers to what a writer hopes to accomplish in a piece of writing. For example, the purpose may be to convince the reader to adopt a certain viewpoint, to explain a process or to allow the reader to feel a dominant impression. Purpose helps a writer to determine which expository technique will dominate the text's form, as well as what kinds of supporting examples will be used. Purpose and audience are often closely related.
Rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for rhetorical effect rather than for the purpose of getting an answer.
Rhyme is the repetition of identical or similar terminal sound combination of words.
Rhythm is a flow, procedure, characterized by basically regular recurrence of elements or features, as beat, or accent, in alternation with opposite or different elements or features.
Sarcasmis a sneering or taunting attitude in writing. It is designed to hurt by ridiculing or criticizing. Basically, sarcasm is a heavy-handed form of irony, as when an individual says.
Satireis the humorous or critical treatment of a subject in order to expose the subject's vices, follies, stupidities, and so forth. Satire is a better weapon than sarcasm in the hands of the writer because satire is used to correct, whereas sarcasm merely hurts.
Simile is a figure of speech in which the subject is compared to another subject with the help of formal elements (like, as if, etc.).
Slangis a level of language that uses racy and colorful expressions associated more often with speech than with writing. Slang expressions are used when a writer is reproducing dialogue or striving for a special effect.
Stanza/strophe is the largest unit in verse consisting of two or more verse lines. It is a verse segment composed of a number of lines having a definite measure and rhyming system which is repeated throughout the poem.
Stylistic device is a conscious and an intentional intensification of some typical structural and/or semantic property of a language unit (neutral or expressive) promoted to a generalized status and thus becoming a generative model. A SD is an abstract pattern, a mould into which any pattern can be poured.
Suspense is a compositional device which consists in arranging the less important parts at the beginning, the main idea being withheld till the end of the sentence.
Synonymis a word that means roughly the same as another word. In practice, few words are exactly alike in meaning. Careful writers use synonyms to vary word choice, without ever moving too far from the shade of meaning intended.
Themeis the central idea in a text; it is also often termed the thesis. Everything in a written work should support the theme in one way or another.
Titlea short, simple indication of the contents of a text. Titles like «On Keeping a Notebook», «What to Listen for in Music», «The Ambivalence of Abortion», and «How to Write a Personal Letter» are the sorts of titles that convey the central subjects in brief, effective ways. Others, such as «Survival», «Night Walker», and «I Became Her Target» also convey the central idea, but more abstractly.
Toneis the writer's attitude toward his or her subject or material. A writer's tone may be objective, ironic, comic, nostalgic, or a reflection of numerous other attitudes. Tone is the «voice» that is given to the text
Transitionis the linking of one idea to the next in order to achieve coherence. Transitions are words that connect these ideas. Among the most common techniques to achieve smooth transition are: (I) repeating a key word or phrase; (2) using a pronoun to refer back to a key word or phrase; (3) relying on traditional connectives like «thus», «for example», «moreover», «therefore», «however», «finally», «likewise», «afterwards», and «in conclusion»; (4) using parallel structure; and (5) creating a sentence or an entire paragraph that serves as a bridge from one part of the text to the next. Transition is best achieved when the writer presents ideas and details carefully and in logical order.
Understatement/Litotesis the reverse of exaggeration.
Unity is that feature in an essay where all material relates to a central concept and contributes to the meaning of the whole. To achieve a unified effect, the writer must design an introduction and conclusion, maintain a consistent tone and point of view develop middle paragraphs in a coherent manner, and always stick to the subject; never permitting unimportant elements lo enter. Thus, unity involves a successful blending of all elements in the creation of a sound essay.
Vulgarismsare words that exist below conventional vocabulary, and which are not accepted in polite conversation or writing, unless they serve an illustrative purpose.
Zeugmais the use of a word in the same grammatical but different semantic relations to two adjacent words in the context, literal and transferred.
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