Use Of Diction In Richard Rodriguez's The Hunger Of Memory

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In writing, authors chose particular words and phrases to effectively convey their message or to engage the reader. Writer's word choices, also known as diction, can help communicate ideas, reveal emotion and opinions that they may have toward something or someone. There are many different levels of diction such as formal diction, used by Richard Rodriguez in his autobiography The Hunger of Memory, and neutral diction, used by Charles Bukowski in his novel Ham on Rye. The use of diction in these pieces make the stories come to life in the reader's head. Richard Rodriguez uses very formal diction in his autobiography,The Hunger of Memory, his words express his emotions and motives of being a writer. “I do not write as a modern-day Wordsworth…show more content…
“So many words were still unknown that when the butcher and the lady at the drugstore said something to me, exotic polysyllabic sounds would bloom in the midst of their sentences. Often, the speech of people in public seemed to be very loud, booming with confidence. The man behind the counter would literally ask, ‘What can I do for you?’ But by being firm and so clear, the sound of his voice said that he was a gringo; he belonged in the public society”(12). Rodriguez describes the way English sounds to him creating an image that the language was very complex to in his perspective. Not only does he believe that it’s complex but, he expresses how those people who knew how to speak English were confident with their speech and therefore were pertinent to the society. Charles Bukowski, author of Ham on Rye, uses neutral diction. “The first thing I remember is being under something.I saw a table leg, I saw the legs of people, and a portion of the tablecloth hanging down. It was dark under there, I liked being under there. It must have been in the Germany. I must have been between one and two years old. It was 1922. I felt good under the table. Nobody seemed to know that I was there”(1). Bukowski writes as if he were speaking. His diction makes the words flow and give the story a very laid back
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