AP English III
Style analysis is a process in which the reader can
scrutinize and discuss the aspects of an authorís style as it pertains
to their works. With style analysis the reader can gain an in depth
understanding of the voice, vernacular, and images the author uses. Also
the organization, structure, and phrasing can be examined to receive a
greater knowledge of the style.
Dave Barryís techniques used in the article "Spam beats cafeteria food" convey not only a sense of comical cynicism but also a serious undertone. Barry examines a real situation yet emphasizes the humor of human nature surrounding the problem. The reader feels sympathy for Barryís problem, yet is able to laugh his or her way through it due to his presentation.
The authorís diction exercises the tones of humorous sarcasm yet thoughtful reflection onto everyday life. Relating to prosaic life, Barry comments, " . . . I was going through my work e-mail, by which I mean I was deleting it." Due to Barryís offhand remark, the reader is allowed to assume his work information may not be the most important thing to him. In the manner of expression Barry used he makes it easy to understand the human side of the situation. In contrast, Barryís thoughtful reflection is found when he says, " . . . I spend about half of my time on the Internet deleting e-mail." Barry relates to the reader in this comment in that he expresses a tone of slight remorse for his wasted day. Also, he brings to the foreground the issue of spending oneís day tirelessly on the Internet, though allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. Barryís style is focused more on gathering the publicís attention with humor other than alerting them to a problem.
George Willís style differs greatly from that of Dave Barry. The style techniques used by Will in "Celebrating an Intellectual Dynamo" express the tones of down-to-earth reporting yet intellectual haughtiness. Will defines an issue and explains it thoroughly, yet does so in such a way that expresses a holier-than-thou undertone. The reader may understand the issue yet feels intellectually intimidated.
The essayistís diction employs the tones of serious information yet highbrow arrogance. Reporting an important issue, Will said, "In one of the group's favorite periodicals -- The New Individualist Review, published at the University of Chicago -- a theorist argued that the government must own lighthouses because no market mechanism could price a lighthouse's service." Due to the nature of Willís statement, the reader is led into the issue. The reader is given the facts and is then allowed to view the issue with an objective eye. In contrast, Willís haughtiness is shown when he says, "These contumacious students [that were arguing against putting a price on the lighthouseís service] were, as students frequently are, inebriated by ideas to the point of silliness." By this, Will expresses that not only are the students stubborn, they are filled with useless ideas. The reader feels as if Will is acting insulting to the students and may feel a little overwhelmed by his snobbish nature. George Willís style is focused on delivering a subjective, and often contemptuous, perspective on events and news.
Style analysis is a way for the reader to not only read a piece for its content, but also to examine the authorís techniques. Readers gain a thorough knowledge of the authorís way of expressing his or her ideas and thoughts. Also, this process can help determine how the information is put together in an understandable fashion.
|22||"Man oh man, are we in for it now, was my thinking about the Congo
from the instant we set foot."
I think the author is trying to show Rachel's character through her first line in the book. From the get-go I'm assuming that Rachel is the kind of "proper" girl that would never curse a situation no matter how bad it gets. Also, she seems a bit pessimistic, if not a tad snobbish. I mean, she first steps foot onto new soil and her first thought about the whole ordeal is negative. I'll be interested in seeing how she progresses with those thoughts.
|43||"On Congo Easter Easter Sunday there were no new clothes for the Price
girls, that's for sure."
Is Easter all about getting something for yourself? What happened to celebrating the resurrection of the Lord and Savior? Though Rachel comes from a very strict Baptist family she is focused on HER needs and what SHE wants. She doesn't stop to consider the fact that no one else is going to receive much of anything, let alone anything new and fancy. And especially something like a dress! She doesn't seem to realize how impractical wanting something like that while you're in the middle of the Congo is. This just further proves to me that she is very snotty.
|125||"Well hallelujah and pass the ammunition. Company for dinner! And an
eligible bachelor at that that, without three wives or even one as far
as I know."
This passage shows Rachel's obvious distaste of where they're living coupled with her harsh opinion of the people native to the area. Through this, it's easy to see that she doesn't understand nor except the Congolese people's very different culture. Rachel does however express the fact that the Price family hasn't had proper company since hey moved to the Congo. I think this lack of company is getting to Rachel, I'll be interested in finding out how this evolves.
|176||"All I need is to go back home with some dread disease. Sweet sixteen
and never been kissed is bad enough , but to be Thyroid Mary on top of
it? Oh, brother."
Does Rachel ever think about anyone but herself? It seems to me that she believes that no matter where she is everything should revolve around her. Once again, I doubt she's accepting of the people here or their way of life. She doesn't seem to understand that disease is a common thing in the Congo. True, there are some vicious diseases in Africa. Nevertheless, why does she only fear for her own safety? She has three younger sisters, what about them? Ruth May's but a small child, very susceptible to illness. Yet, Rachel doesn't seem to even consider her family's well being.
|247||"'Oh yes,' Leah said, straight-A pupil as always."
Ah, and here I find what Rachel thinks of her sister. From the start my first thought was, Jealousy. She seems jealous of her sister's grades. But does that jealousy simply stop at academics? Previously, Rachel's shared some far from pleasant experiences with her sisters, but is it out of simple mean spiritedness or something more? Leah has come across as the perfect daughter, and she obviously receives the most of her father's attention if not affection. Is Rachel jealous of that? I'm curious as to whether or not this will be answered.
|268||"And if that wasn't already the living end, now my knight in shining
armor has arrived: Mr. Stinkpot Axelroot."
There is no way that Rachel would ever marry Tata Ndu -- never in a million years. Yet, when she's offered a means of escape, she can do naught but complain! I see this simply as her character, but still -- Axelroot is doing her a favor by putting up this charade. Why then does she complain and insult Axelroot. I have gotten that he is far from the best gentleman and surely not husband material, but she doesn't put it into perspective at all. This is her way to avoid marrying a man with many wives already and all she has to do is pretend to be engaged. It doesn't sound to hard. I find this situation humorous, however, and am interested to see it continue.
|274||"Seventeen! I am now one score and seven years old. Or so I thought,
until Leah informed me that means twenty-seven."
This is another example of Rachel's feelings toward her sister. Obviously, she doesn't take the correction graciously. Rachel doesn't seem to be the type that can stand to be wrong and be humble when she's is corrected. Again, there are some very harsh feeling expressed in this. Leah comes across as brainy while Rachel simply comes across as a snobbish teen who's too caught up in fashion to pay attention to things that have any meaning. So is she jealous of her sister for being smarter than her? It's my opinion that she is.
|288||"For the first half of the last year I prayed for a full-length mirror,
and the second half I praised the Lord we didn't have one."
Vanity is a sin, is it not? Yet Rachel is very vain. Why would one need a full length mirror in a place where how you look isn't necessarily going to matter? Such an item wouldn't be practical yet she found it important enough to ask her God if He could assist in furthering her vanity. Perhaps it was a blessing she never received it? And she goes on to say she was thankful later that they didn't have one. This is not out of humility or realization that she needn't be so caught up in fashion. This is simply because she realizes that no longer does she possess pretty dresses and perfect accessories. Why ever would Rachel Price want to be spotted without these items? To me, this illustrates her snobbish side all too well.
|301||"I only had time to save one thing [from the ants] . . . That had to
be the mirror."
Here again with the vanity. Does she try to save something of actual meaning? No, a mirror, a simple piece of reflective glass. Because everyone knows how important mirrors are in the Congo. Where are her thoughts of concern for her younger siblings? At first, I thought se might go in and grab something like the glass jewelry her mother gave her for her birthday. Yet that would have been a surprising move for Rachel, definitely out of character. So while I'm not surprised she decided to save her item of vanity, I am a little disappointed. Will her character ever loose this childish self-centered attitude? I thought she was to evolve from this to something mature, yet there's no sign of this yet.
|335||"How it started was her declaring she was going hunting with her little
bow and arrow. My sister, little Miss The-Lord-Is-My-Shepard, now thinks
she's Robin Hood."
This was referring to Leah. Is it coincidence or is it ill will harbored toward her younger sister that Rachel always manages to sound mean and sarcastic when talking about Leah? Can't she grow out of this? Jealousy toward her own family seems a childish trait that needs to be dropped. Yet Rachel can't do that lest she declare her love for her family. Also, I doubt Rachel sees Leah hunting as a feminine thing. She views it as purely masculine, something to be left for the men. Will she ever accept her sister?
|350||"I stood and prayed to the Lord Jesus if he was listening to take me
home to Georgia, where I could sit down in a White Castle and order a hamburger
without having to see its eyes roll back in its head and the blood spurting
out of its corpse."
I really love the language and description here, not so much some character trait of Rachel's. To me, it paints a very vivid image of how things can be in the Congo. The fact that she compares it to something like a hamburger is interesting. Here in the Congo, having such a dead corpse would be considered excellent, obviously something you want. Yet in America, they crave hamburgers and such as 'special' treats (for some). I found this interesting to say the least. Also, as far as character traits, yet again I see her complaining. What should be taken as a blessing is turned to something grotesque all because she has yet to realize her surroundings!
|356||"Leah spoke back to him [her father] in a calm voice as if she too
were discussing whatever had gotten in the the garbage and it certainly
Here's a character change in Leah which I find very interesting. No longer is Rachel noting her absolute devotion to their father. No, Leah's began to show that she doesn't whole-heartedly believe in her father's actions. This evolution is something I've been hoping to witness in Rachel yet I'm pleased to see in Leah. Finally, the family is becoming less meek and more eager to express their displeasure at the situation Nathan simply won't allow them leave of.
|366||"And I thought: Now we have to go in and tell mother. That Ruth May
is, oh, sweet Jesus. Ruth May is gone. We had to tell our parents, and
they were still in bed asleep."
Here is a very somber time for Rachel. And, finally, she expresses something other than distaste toward one of her sisters. Albeit, it took death for her to do so, but it's there. I'm sorry Ruth May had to die, but perhaps it will bring about further change in Rachel? It seems almost touching that she's actually experiencing feelings for Ruth May. Hopefully, this will advance Rachel to a new level of character.
|402||"I have not remained especially close with my sisters, but I dare say
for all their being gifted and what not, they can't do a whole lot better
than John 3:16 in three entire languages."
Aha, finally, after so many years of harboring jealousy toward her sisters, Rachel has something to throw back at them! Bragging is sinful, yet somehow, I highly doubt Rachel looks for all that is so clearly divided into 'sinful' and 'righteous' anymore. I feel sort of proud of Rachel for advancing her knowledge. Although it did take awhile, I believe Rachel is beginning to realize that not everything revolves around her and that she's expected to change and accommodate or get left behind. And while being able to say John 3:16 in three languages might not be the biggest accomplishment, it's a good thing for Rachel.
|424||"If I'd known what marriage was going to be like, well, heck, I probably
would have tied all those hope chest linens together into a rope and hung
myself from a tree!"
Sarcastic in nature yet it expresses such a dramatic change in attitude from the snobbish, teenage Rachel. Of course, looking back on things often does give a totally different perspective, yet I view this as progress. As a teen, Rachel was all set to b the perfect American wife. She spent hours on her hope chest, believing that one day she would actually be in a happy marriage with everything like a white house and picked fence. Yet as her live goes on and she actually experiences marriage, she learns that not only is it not what she thought it'd be, she doesn't like it one bit! An interesting twist on things in my opinion.
|460||"Listen, don't believe everything in fairy tales! After the happy-ever-after
wedding, they never tell you the rest of the story. Even if you get to
marry the prince, you still wake up in the morning with your mouth tasting
like drain cleaner and your hair all flat on one side."
I love the language in this as well for it too creates a clear mental image. The descriptiveness is well done and very full of a bitter under tone which makes it that much more believable to me. Again, Rachel finds out how the real world is. She discovers that it's nothing like those stories in magazines with happily-ever-after ending for all. Real life is so much more than that and disappointment is something to be expected. Once again a nice change to her character -- it took long enough!
|475||"This was the first and the absolute last time I am going to participate
within a reunion of my sisters. I've just returned from a rendezvous with
Leah and Adah that was simply a sensational failure."
It seems that no matter how much everyone has changed, Rachel still retains that same "you couldn't possibly be my relative" attitude toward her sisters. At a point in the story, Rachel says that she almost wishes she could have gone home with her sister Adah and their mother. Yet did she? She would rather spend her life in the place she detested for so many years than be with her sisters. Harsh, it seems, yet it fits Rachel so perfectly, even after she's changed from the self-centered teen to the self-centered albeit it semi worldly woman.
|513||" . . . I have swallowed my pride before, that's for sure. I've done
it so many times I am practically lined with my mistakes on the inside
like a bad-wallpapered bathroom."
Two points I'd like to make with this passage. The first is the simile. I like the way she compares herself being so lined with her mistakes to a badly wallpapered bathroom. In particular, I like the fact she used a bathroom and not simply a plain room. The connotation of a "bad-wallpapered bathroom" is not something simply in need of repair. I find myself picturing some broken and run-down, haughty shack with yellowing paper peeling from its inside walls from neglect. I love that language. The second point I'd like to make is concerning Rachel. In the beginning of the book she seemed like she was so hard headed and so set on getting her way. Also, I remember making that comment that Rachel would never show humility, yt here she says that she's since swallowed her pride time and time again. Finally, here's is the evolved character I wa hoping for the entire book!