The Rhetorical Roundtable: Diction Detective
Reading Assignment for Today __________ to _________
Description: Your job is to analyze the diction (word choice) of the piece and how it contributes to the overall message or idea. Guiding Questions:
ü Which passages are the best representations of your author’s diction? ü Is the diction formal, informal or neutral?
ü What inferences can you make about the intended audience using diction? ü What tone does the diction of the reading suggest?
ü What would happen if you changed a few words in the piece? ü Which words made an impact on you?
ü Does the diction give you a clue about where or when the piece was first delivered? Items From Text:
Fitzgerald uses a very intriguing diction and different levels of tones and moods.
-"He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breaths, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. As his lips' touched she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete" (110-111).
-The diction in this passage creates a loving tone through the use of hyperboles and similes.
“Careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made" (179).
-Fitzgerald does not just state that they were bad people, he uses words like "careless people" and "let other people clean up the mess they had made" which emphasize on their laziness and the despise Nick felt towards them. This diction keeps the story interesting and makes the reader feel connected and in the moment.
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