Stylistic Analysis of “Arrowsmith” by Sinclair Lewis

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  • Topic: Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith, Metaphor
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  • Published : April 15, 2013
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“Arrowsmith” by Sinclair Lewis
Starting reading the extract from the novel of the first American awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature one can predict that the whole book is quite subjective. The description of the geographical position of the state Winnemac and its largest city makes exactly such impression. But when the reader goes on he faces really vivid examples of hyperbola, epithets, zeugma, metaphors and other stylistic devices. One becomes immersed in the bright, humorous and at the same time critical world of Sinclair Lewis. The author mocks at the weak points of education, at ridiculous university traditions and the life of students in general. The title of the story “Arrowsmith” depicts the surname of the main character. It is a quite rare English surname. The second part of the compound “Smith” means a person who does something extraordinary. An arrow is usually associated with reaching a goal. The surname Arrowsmith is suitable for a person who is initiative, able to think critically, who is patient and persuasive in doing his job. Martin Arrowsmith is just this type of a person. For his shyness he is an attractive young man devoted to his studying. The author describes his university experience. The story is a 3-d person narration. It emphasizes that the author is not a participant of the events but just an observer. The description of the university of Winnemac is full of exaggeration . Its comparison to Oxford and Harvard, “its buildings measured by the mile” are good examples of hyperbole. The enumeration of the disciplines taught at Winnemac is used to show the great variety of useless subjects that students should cope with and to depict the broad specialization of universities where Doctors of Philosophy just “give rapid instructions”. Sinclair Levis says that such variety of subjects can’t guarantee a good quality of education. The epithets “leisury nonsence”, “ snobbish college” are...
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