Analysis Of Ellen Kay Pathedy Of Manners

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Literary Device #7 - Diction
Diction: “the choice of words and style of expression that an author makes and uses”
Example: “Her children gone, her husband one year dead, / Toying with plots to kill time and re-wed / Illusions of lost opportunity” (18-20). Kay, “Pathedy of Manners”
Function:
Context: “Pathedy of Manners” by Ellen Kay is about a woman and her experiences in life. The woman is now forty-three years old and is in the latter half of her life. After her husband dies, she becomes bored of her current state and starts to think about what she should do in the future. She also dreams about what she could have done that she did not do in the past.
Concept: Ellen Kay uses diction of death and despair to evoke a sense of isolation and hopelessness. With “her children gone, her
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As the woman is now alone after losing her children and her husband, she is no longer as decisive and active as she was in the past. Instead of actively going abroad or conversing with others, she is “toying with plots to kill time” (19). The woman does not have a clear idea of what she wants to do and is only wasting time by herself. This theme is also developed when the woman refuses to accept the reality of her fall. The woman, though she was once sought after by many, is left in a pathetic state after her husband dies. Within her mind, she can only walk “alone in brilliant circles to the end” (28). The “brilliant circles” are only the illusions in the woman’s mind that she can continue living her comfortable life that is full of happiness (28). Since it is not reality, the people around her cannot help her get over her grief and come to accept the world around her. The woman can only progress through her life alone and isolated within her illusions, without any resemblance to the bright woman she once
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