The Rattler Diction
The speaker in “The Rattler” conveys that difficult choices are made in life to test one’s morals and actions in a situation. He does this by using diction to deliver a sense of respect for the rattler and equality between the man and the snake. The speaker wrote this story in order to show empathy for the snake as he speaks for the snake’s perspective. A relationship with the audience is established through creating remorse for the snake yet embracing the speaker’s “duty” with upholding understanding. The speaker’s choice of respectful diction toward the snake portrayed the rattlesnake to being a fair opponent. The snake was “capable of long range attack and armed with powerful fangs” yet it did not move in response to the speaker until he had initiated an “unprovoked attack” on the snake. The speaker describes the snake to have power and the ability to attack with a likely chance of accuracy – this indicated that the rattler was not helpless but in fact the complete opposite because it could have easily attacked first. The natural recoil the snake had in response to the speaker’s first attack shows that the snake had not expected combat because the rattler had done nothing to “provoke” him, showing the powerful snake had not initiated the first hit but must defend itself for its own life. When the speaker had brought out his weapon, the snake had “shot” into the bushes and “shook and shook his fair but furious signal”. The snake’s hiding from the man usually shows cowardice, but describing the snake to have “shot” into hiding illustrates its speed – as if the snake were like a bullet. His hiding in the bushes was not an intention of cowardice but was later shown in the sentence almost as if a desperate call for peace when the snake repeatedly “shook and shook” his “fair but furious” rattler. Repeating the word “shook” puts an emphasis to indicate its desperation while the rattler was calling for a “fair” warning with its rattler, but...
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