In the article Death of a Pig, the author E. B. White recorded the last few days he spent with his young pig. This article was inspired by his real experience. After reading the whole article, readers can feel strongly that E. B. White didn’t treat his young pig as an animal, but a human, like a child, a friend or a relative. His various and accurate descriptions of the death of his young pig make readers feel that one of his family members pass away. This can be spotted through his proper use of rhetoric and careful and accurate choosing words.
Ⅰ Firstly, the author use various proper uses of rhetoric to show that he treated his young pig as a human, like a closed friend, rather than animal.
⑴ The Use of Personification.
1. He gave us a slim greeting.
In the author’s eyes, he treated the pig as a friend: when they meet each other, they greet each other. The pig is not an animal any longer in his mind.
2. In the upset position the corners of his mouth had been turned down, giving him a frowning expression…shaded by their coy little lashes, turned on me in disgust and hatred.
From the above sentences, we can know that the pig is personified here. He has his various emotions, like a human. For example, his giving frowning expression, his set smile, his little coy lashes and his eyes filled with disgust and hatred, all these are owned only by human.
3. This uncertainty afflicts me with a sense of personal deterioration; if I were in decent health I would know how many nights I had sat up with a pig.
Generally speaking, “sit up” means sleep late, especially for waiting for someone. The author treats the pig like his child or relatives. This is a humorous expression and conveys that he really thinks the pig as a family member.
4. This was slapstick - the sort of dramatic treatment which instantly appealed to my old dachshund, Fred, who joined the vigil, held the bag, and, when all was over,... [continues]
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