Back to the Land: Author's Opinion of American Businesses

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Why Does Style Matter?
“Language is the expression of self, but language is also the instrument by which to know that self” ( ) states Donald Hall in “An Ethic of Clarity.” Based on a writer’s style, a reader can determine how he or she is supposed to feel about the subject. A story starts with the basic elements like syntax and tone, and then is enhanced by figurative language, diction, and treatment of subject matter. Author’s use different combinations while composing to establish an original and unique style. Wendell Berry’s style in “Back to the Land” is composed of many different elements such as mostly long and involved sentences, repetition of the main idea, and two different tones when regarding to industrialism and agrarianism.

Berry’s article starts with a form of diction as he tries to prove that America should return to an agrarian society. His phrasing is denotative, therefore bringing across a clear point and not allowing the reader to interpret his opinion in any other way besides the one he presents. To do so he tends to use cacophonous words to describe industry, while using euphonious words to describe agrarian society and the past. In this excerpt, near the end of the essay, Berry describes his views of a global economy by utilizing concrete words and employing both polysyllabic and monosyllabic words. By varying the number of syllables in a word, it makes some seem important while also bringing attention to those words. “The global economy institutionalizes a global ignorance, in which producers and consumers cannot know or care about one another, and in which the histories of all products will be lost” (19).

From this excerpt, he portrays his negative viewpoint of the industrial world and a global economy. This can be recognized through words such as “ignorance” and “lost.” While discussing an agrarian society, Berry’s viewpoint and tone are quite different. “The market for so-called organic food, food from producers known...
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