Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rhetorical Strategies in East of Eden

Andrea Buchanan

Ms. Sanchez

AP Language and Composition, Period 0

15 March 2010

Blog Topic #1: Rhetorical Strategies

Rhetorical Strategies

  • Simile-“There is a blackness on this valley. I don’t know what it is, but I can feel it. Sometimes on a white blinding day I can feel it cutting off the sun and squeezing the light of it like a sponge” (146).
  • Simile-“The ranch was a relative, and when he left it he plunged a knife into a darling” (293).
  • Simile: “Then the warmth melted through into the cold concealed box where he stored forbidden thoughts, and the thoughts came timidly up to the surface like children who do not know whether they will be received” (313).
  • Anaphora-“I remember the five-fingered ferns growing like little waterfalls...I remember the smells of the hills… I remember the sweeping lovely dance of high buzzards…I remember holding the bit of a line…I remember the smell of crushes ferns…” (281).
  • Verbal Irony-“But there’s a kind of looseness on the scalp that makes me uneasy. It’s head to get used to the convenience of it” (294).
  • Situational Irony-“And when she was delicately sensed the near approach of insane, punishing rage, she sat in his lap and sooth him and made him believe her for a moment in her innocence” (94).
  • Metaphor-“And while I tell you, I am myself sifting my memories, the way men pan the dirt under a barroom floor for the bits of gold dust that fall between the cracks. It’s small mining-small mining. You’re too young a man to be panning memories Adam. You should be getting yourself some new ones. So that the mining will be richer when you come to age” (296).
  • Personification: “The afternoon wind had dropped away and left the air raw and wounded” (314)
  • Paradox-“The low voice had a precise and husky power. And she picked her words as one picks flowers in a mixed garden and took her time choosing” (315).
  • Personification-“Galahad was standing in full amor pointed the way do third-graders; Atalanta’s race urged on the fourth, the Pot of Basil confused the fifth grade…the denunciation of Cataline sent the eight-graders on to high school with a sense of high civil virtue” (420).

John Steinbeck incorporates the use of rhetorical strategies that are illustrative and figurative. Rhetorical strategies such as simile, metaphor, anaphora, personification, and paradox contribute to the author’s style because they provide a vivid and understandable image for readers. The similes paint the pictures in the minds of his readers while the metaphors add comparisons to add comfort and make the literature seem identifiable. In addition, rhetorical devices like paradox and irony add to Steinbeck’s satirical tone as well as his engaging style that makes readers think about the true meaning of his words.

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