Ap English - Didion

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The Santa Ana winds cause people to act more violently or unruly and makes others irritable and unhappy to a great extent. Joan Didion explains to the reader about how the Santa Ana affects human behavior in her essay "Los Angeles Notebook." Through the use of imagery, diction, and selection of detail Didion expresses her view of the Santa Ana winds.

Didion paints uneasy and somber images when describing the Santa Ana winds. "There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air… some unnatural stillness, some tension," starts the essay off with the image of Los Angeles people in a sense of stillness or tense. She further adds, "Blowing up sandstorms out along Route 66… we will see smoke back in the canyons, and hear sirens in the night," propagating the uneasy and stark image of Los Angeles. "The baby frets. The maid sulks," she adds, giving a depressing view into the effects of the Santa Ana winds on people. Didion, in an attempt to show the craziness associated with the Santa Ana winds, points out the Indians who throw themselves into the sea when bad winds came. At any rate, Didion attempts to show the negative effects of the Santa Ana winds through images of stillness, uneasiness, and sobriety.

In her tone, Didion remains clear, consistent, and vivid. Her choice of words remains simple as if to not alienate the readers of her essay. Her tone for the first half of the opening, primarily the first and second paragraphs is calm, inviting, and explanatory. Didion tries to capture the attention of the readers by constantly using tone that is not harsh. The second half of the opening to her essay, which deals with the scientific aspects of the Santa Ana winds, is mostly explanatory. "To live with the Santa Ana is to accept, consciously or unconsciously, a deeply mechanistic view of human behavior," she state in a serious yet not overbearing tone.

With her use of syntax, Didion largely varies her sentence structure. This reduces the monotony of her essay and...
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