How Does Dalton Trumbo Use Syntax In Johnny Got His Gun

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This passage from Dalton Trumbo’s novel Johnny Got His Gun shows a relationship between a father and son through a seemingly small and insignificant series of events. The short story depicts a father and his son on their annual fishing trip. The son decides that he wants to go fishing with his friend instead of his father for a change however, is very hesitant to ask. The author’s use of techniques such as point of view, selection of detail, and syntax in this passage helps to better characterize the relationship between the father and his son in a deeper and more thorough way. In Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo uses selection of detail to emphasize the importance of specific aspects of the story. He begins the passage through the description of the landscape which he continually connects back to memories that the father…show more content…
The author’s choice of punctuation or lack thereof, causes the reader to better feel the awkwardness of the situation between the father and his son. While the author does a fairly good job conveying the uncomfortableness between the two with the dialogue and descriptions alone, his choice of punctuation helps the mood to be even more apparent. The author chose to not use quotation marks, which also adds a sense of awkwardness to the flow of the story. It causes the dialogue to harshly interrupt the previously flowing storyline with tentative statements. “So he told him very casually. He said Bill Harper’s coming up tomorrow and I thought maybe I’d go out with him. He said Bill Harper doesn’t know very much about fishing and I do so I think if you don’t mind I’ll get up early in the morning and meet Harper and he and I will go fishing.” (Trumbo 29) This shows the reader how uncomfortable and nerve racking it was for the son to ask his father these questions, which helps in better understanding the

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