Tag Archives: language

Anand’s Appreciation of Language

“Bakha looked up ad tried to assume a grateful expression, He didn’t have to try very hard, for in a second he seemed to have dwarfed himself to the littlest little being on earth, and followed the Havildar noiselessly, His face was hot with the tea, his teeth shone even in their slavish smile, his whole body and mind were tense with admiration and gratitude to his benefactor. ‘What has happened to change my kismet(fate) all of a sudden?’ he asked himself.”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. New York: Penguin Group, 2014. Print. 109.

Anand has a way with language. He uses alliteration and foreign language to capture into details the things he wants to portray. The mixture of the foreign language keeps the readers aware of the literary background and the culture behind the texts. Also he uses alliteration such as “littlest little”, “slavish smile”,  “tea, his teeth” to emphasize the depth of the images he wants to portray.

Woolf’s Language/Technique

“The Lord had shown her the way. So now, whenever the hot and painful feelings bolded within her, this hatred of Mrs. Dalloway, this grudge against the world, she thought of God. She thought of Mr. Whittaker. Rage was succeeded by calm. A sweet savor filled her veins, her lips parted, and, standing formidable upon the landing in her mackintosh, she looked with steady and sinister serenity at Mrs. Dalloway, who came out with her daughter.”

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, 1925. Print.

In this passage, Clarissa’s internal distress fuels a range of metaphors, from the “hot and painful feelings” she experiences, to the “sweet savor [that fills] her veins.” However, Woolf’s ability to emphasize emotions comes at the cost of dragging them out in text, arguably, through awkward phrasing. Really, “steady and sinister serenity”? Is that not a little much?

Lack of Emotion

They shot the six cabinet ministers at half-past six in the morning against the wall of a hospital. There were pools of water in the courtyard. There were wet dead leaves on the paving of the courtyard. It rained hard. All the shutters of the hospital were nailed shut. One of the minis­ters was sick with typhoid. Two soldiers carried him downstairs and out into the rain. They tried to hold him up against the wall but he sat down in a puddle of water. The other five stood very quietly against the wall. Finally the officer told the soldiers it was no good trying to make him stand up. When they fired the first volley he was sitting down in the water with his head on his knees. (51)

In this interchapter Hemingway uses almost no emotional language. It serves to heighten the emotion of what is actually happening.

Whose Body?

“After she’ad put Mrs.Thipps to bed, she’ad slipped out to go to the Plumber’s and Glaziers’ Ball at the “Black Faced Ram” Mr.Williams ‘ad met ‘er and brought ‘er back. E’could testify to where she’s been and that there wasn’t no ‘arm in it.”

Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? 1923. Reprint, New York, Dover, 2009, p66.

The use of a more slangy language, or at least not proper English, differs here from the one in Melanchta. It is too used to give speech to a person of a lower class, a domestic, as in Melanchta it is used for people considered, at the time, as lesser. But it is used mostly for humor, and do not aim at disturb our comprehension of the plot as it confusing in Melanchta. It is rather use to accentuate and caricature in a humorous way the features of ther personality as it quickly gives us an impression of Grace Horrocks ‘s character, a rather excitable, simple domestic.  The way her deposition -no proper dialogue features and it is one continuous speech- is transposed just shows that she is not that important.

Intentional Juvenile Diction

In Melanctha, both the vocabulary and syntax are undoubtedly simple.  The repetition of names, specific terms, and explanations are tedious, however they offer an unusual argument.  Without heavy description of the setting or characters, we rely on the narration to find feeling through several perspectives.

The Cubist movement was known for its use of simultaneous perspective in painting, much like Stein’s Melanctha. To someone oblivious of a painting that is done by Picasso, they may immediately conclude that the painting’s shapes, colors, and overall execution is simple.  However, the communication being transmitted through the art is carries a larger message.  Although Stein uses elementary words and childish repetition, she is able to convey complicated ideas using each character’s view.

“Melanctha Herbert never really lost her sense that it was Jane Harden who had taught her, but Jane did many things that Melanctha now no longer needed.  And then, too, Melanctha never could remember right when it came to what she had done and what had happened.  Melanctha now sometimes quarreled with Jane, and they no longer went about together, and sometimes Melanctha really forgot how much she owned to Jane Harden’s teaching.”

 

Stein, Gertrude. “Melanctha.” In Three Lives. New York: Grafton, 1909. Internet Archive. http://archive.org/details/threelivesstorie00steirich.

 

 

The Incorrect Word

“Rebels! What would be the next definition I was to her? There had been enemies, criminals, workers – and these were rebels. Those rebellious heads looked very subdued to me on their sticks.”

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. “Heart of Darkness”, 165. Oxford: Oxford NY, 2002.

This is interesting because rebels are people who disobey the commands and act free; however, in the story they have little to no power to even act free or do as they please. They barely disrupt or even act on their own accord. Although, they are called  “workers and enemies,” they present no sign of being rebellious.