Dombey and Son

Topics: Grave accent, Formal system, Formal grammar Pages: 1 (319 words) Published: April 25, 2013
In line 8 of the passage from Dombey and Son the words “stern and pompous” capture the narrator’s attitude toward Dombey. The author portrays this stern and pompous attitude through his use of sentence structure, diction and tone. The passage starts off with one long sentence, which set the scene and introduces the characters Dombey and Son. The next paragraph begins to tell details and starts with two short sentences discussing the basic similarities and/or differences between Dombey and his son. As the paragraph continues the sentences become longer as they are discussing a more complex subject matter, for example how “On the brow of Dombey, Time and his brother Care had set some marks” (lines 11-12). There is a pattern throughout of short sentences for simple ideas and long sentences for more complex ideas. By choosing to elaborate on the more intricate ideas confirms the author’s portrayal of Dombey’s pompous attitude. The diction in the passage is typical of authors, in which they use more formal language instead of everyday language. In example, “countenance” (lline 14) instead of face and “appended” (line 28), further display Dombey’s pompousness. Dombey’s sternness is exemplified in the way he talks to his wife, instead of asking her what she thinks the baby’s name should be he tells her, “He will be christened Paul, … of course” (line 32). The overall tone of the passage is very critical of Dombey. The only thing that matters to him is Dombey and Son. He has a very pompous attitude in thinking that “The earth was made for Dombey and Son to trade in” (line 39) and that “Rivers and seas were formed to float their ships”. It takes a grave amount of audacity to think that the entire world was made to serve you and in Dombey’s stern and pompous attitude he sees no wrong in that.

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