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Chapters Sixteen—Eighteen

Sometimes how you say something is just as important as what you say. How an author uses words is referred to as style. An author’s style is important because it helps the author convey the theme.

Diction is an author’s word choice. Authors carefully select their words to tell their story, but they also vary their sentence structure, sentence length, and word type.

Here are some things to look for when evaluating style:

Parallel structure/parallelism: Patterns of repeated clause or phrase types or verb forms.

Ex: He had been prepared to lie, to bluster, to remain sullenly unresponsive; but, reassured by the good-humoured intelligence of the Controller’s face, he decided to tell the truth, straightforwardly.

Repetition: Repeated words or phrases

Ex: But he manifests himself in different ways to different men.

Emotional/shocking Language: Strong words designed to pull at emotions

Ex: Beauty’s attractive, and we don’t want people to be attracted by old things. We want them to like the new ones.

Figurative Language: Language not meant to be taken literally

Ex: … those human maggots swarming round Linda’s bed of death, the endlessly repeated face of his assailants.

Allusion: Reference to history or literature

Ex: “Goats and monkeys!” (a direct allusion to Shakespeare’s Othello)

Punctuation: Unusual or carefully chosen punctuation

Part I: Identifying Style

Directions: For each of the excerpts below, label the style used and describe the effect of the style choice on the reader.

1. But Bernard would not be cheered; without answering, without even looking at Helmholtz, he went and sat down on the most uncomfortable chair in the room, carefully chosen in the obscure hope of somehow deprecating the wrath of the higher powers. (Ch. 16)

Analyzing St yle

Style Choice:

Effect:

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Style Choice:

Effect:

2. For the sake of the labourers; it would be sheer cruelty to afflict them with excessive leisure. (Ch. 16)

3. The world’s stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get. They’re well off; they’re safe; they’re never ill; they’re not afraid of death; they’re blissfully ignorant of passion and old age; they’re plagued with no mothers or fathers; they’ve got no wives, or children, or lovers to feel strongly about; they’re so conditioned that they practically can’t help behaving as they ought to behave. (Ch. 16)

4. “…It isn’t only art that’s incompatible with happiness; it’s also science. Science is dangerous; we have to keep it most carefully chained and muzzled.” (Ch. 16)

5. Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness. Mass production demanded the shift. Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can’t. (Ch. 16)

6. “And I’ve got plenty more,” Mustapha Mond continued, resuming his seat. “A whole collection of pornographic old books. God in the safe and Ford on the shelves.” (Ch. 17)

Style Choice:

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7. We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. (Ch. 17)

8. God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness. That’s why I have to keep these books locked up in the safe. They’re smut. People would be shocked if …” (Ch. 17)

9. “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” (Ch. 17)

10. There was a silence. In spite of their sadness–because of it, even; for their sadness was the symptom of their love for one another–the three young men were happy. (Ch. 18)

Style Choice:

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