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Liam Conall Murray
**English 1010 1020
ACT Test Prep
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Language and Writing Style of The Shipping News
I think that the Annie Proulx's language and diction in the story is interesting. Instead of writing in complete sentences shes writes small phrases. Although the phrases and random words may sound confusing and out of place I think that they give a much more clear representation of the setting and the story. Instead of using wordy sentences Proulx uses specific words that stand out in the reader's mind. It helps the reader picture everything easily and she really gets the point across with one concise and powerful word. I don't think I have ever noticed this type of style in writing before and I found it easier to read and easier to understand. With such a depressing opening of the book the words definitely helped convey the mood and tone that Proulx was trying to get across.
When starting the book, I absolutely hated the style of writing that Proulx chose to use. It seemed choppy and unfinished. But I agree with the above discussion. The writing adds to the meaning of the novel immensely. Once you get used to the style, everything flows. The syntax also creates a clear discussion for the readers to comprehend.
In the beginning of each chapter, the epigraphs create a foreshadow of what events will occur in that chapter. I think this helps readers because it is something that readers can go back to if a certain chapter confuses them.
Proulx's carefully chosen diction made this story catchy. The incompleteness of the sentances grabs the readers attention and allows for a simple and therefore, more complete understanding of what Proulx is trying to convey. She also uses a little bit of foreshadowing in the last paragraph (or sentance) of each chapter- usually a phrase that sparks excitment and initiative to continue reading on.
As I have read further into the book I still hate the structure of the sentences.
I think that Proulx makes the novel less interesting and more difficult to understand, with her short choppy sentences. I know that in class we discussed that the text loses some of its power and emotion when you change the sentences, but the way they currently are makes reading frustrating. For instance in Chapter 4 Proulx wrote, “The smell of sea damp and paint, boiled coffee.” Even though Proulx is trying to describe the smells of the morning it seems like a dangling modifier. The sea damp and paint didn’t boil the coffee, but the boiled coffee is one of the smells of the morning.
Knots: The knots in the beginning of each chapter symbolize human experience. The knots introduce the chapter's theme. The "Love Knot" (Chapter 2), Quoyle meets Petal Bear. Love is introduced into his like and the readers are introduced to a new knot. I think that the symbols are knots because the knots connect two things, but can also be broken so those two things are separated. Knots, or connections, can always be retied and untied. When the aunt and Quoyle return to Newfoundland, Quoyle's old knot is broken and a new one is being created.
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