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Analyzing Style In Literature Essay

1565 words - 6 pages

Analyzing Style in Literature

The style of a piece is a function of the writer’s craft or the
techniques used by the writer to communicate his ideas. To discuss
the style of work of literature, consider the diction (vocabulary
choices), the syntax (sentence construction) and the tone (author’s
attitude toward the subject and the reader).

A. DICTION: When analyzing diction, consider the following:
============================================================

- figurative language (use of simile, metaphor, personification,
hyperbole, allusion, irony, metonymy, symbolism)

- abstract or concrete words

- denotative or connotative words

- monosyllabic or polysyllabic words

- archaic diction

- formal or colloquial English

- slang, clichés, idioms, foreign phrases

- sound effects: onomatopoeia, alliteration, euphony, cacophy

- jargon, technical language

B. SYNTAX: Sentence structure and Rhetorical Devices

- long or short sentences

- loose or periodic sentences

- balanced sentences

- parallel sentences

- rhetorical questions

- syntactic inversion

- epigram

- paradox

- climactic sentences

- Methods of achieving emphasis:

i. Repetition

ii. Climactic order

iii. Periodic sentences

iv. Short sentences

v. Active rather than passive verbs

vi. Parallel structures and balanced sentences

vii. Antithesis

viii. Chiasmus

C. TONE – analysis of the author’s attitude toward the subject and the
reader
======================================================================

- sincere, genuine, honest

- satirical, ironic, sarcastic, sardonic

- whimsical, light, humourous, wry, mock-serious

- nostalgic

- didactic

- objective, reporting, detached, scientific

- morose, sad, pensive, melancholy

- sentimental, gentle, tender, maudlin

- impassioned, angry, indignant, vehement

- colloquial, folksy, hearty, conversational, friendly, chummy,
chatty, intimate

- serious, formal, dignified, lofty

- polite, courteous, deferential, reverent

GLOSSARY OF TERMS
=================

Onomatopoeia – (imitative harmony): The sound of the word resembles
the sound of what is being expressed. Eg. The murmuring of the
innumerable bees, or words such as bark, snap and squeak.

Alliteration – repetition of first letters or consonant sounds. E.g.
ghostly galleons, long languid ladies, five meandering miles.

Euphony – certain words are combines to give a pleasing effect. Eg.
And moveless fish in the water gleam, cool blue umbrellas

Cacophony – harsh sounding words. Eg. Stark black crabs scrape
barnacles.

Archaic – words no longer used, or words used with a meaning that is
no longer accepted. Eg. Thou dost, methought

...

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