In the piece “On Going Home” Joan Didion uses many literary techniques to emphasis her sentences. Didion’s use of quotation marks around specific words stands out first to the reader. The quotation marks suggest that the meaning she was trying to come across was a bit different from the original meaning the word normally would carry. For example when Didion quotes the words “happy, home, and normal”, they are usually described as positive meaning. But it depends on how the reader takes if from his or her own personal experience and feelings. Each person gets a different meaning of a word. Didion does not have a clear feeling on her family, even home. Joan Didion forms long and complex sentences, but on the other hand she made some short and declarative sentences. In the second paragraph Didion writes, “ We did not fight. Nothing was wrong” (636). Since there have been longer sentences, these two shorter sentences stood out in contrast. What I got out of this was Didion was trying to explain how her family has a normal relationship, but every other detail defines the families’ relationship differently. She leaves it up to her readers to draw their own conclusion on her family. Didion also employs repetitions in this piece. For example, in the first paragraph there is a long sentence that starts “ We live in dusty houses…” (Didion 636) that has three different series in it. These long series are connected with “ands” and commas, which keeps the reader reading. The technique she is using is help weighing down the text in certain places bring life to the description of the dustiness of her parents’ house. This is done without saying it straight forward. We are not able to detect though out Didion’s writing because there are different layers of complexity that occur inside her family. Joan Didion describes her relationship with her family in the end of the first paragraph by stating, “We miss each other’s points, have another drink and regard the fire”...
Cited: Didion, Joan. “On Going Home” Literature for Compostition An Introduction to Literature. S. Barnet, W. Burto, and W. Cain. The Library of Congress. 636-637.
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