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What is an example of good diction that reflects Melinda's character in this book?

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glassxcv | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 16, 2012 at 4:37 PM via web

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What is an example of good diction that reflects Melinda's character in this book?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 29, 2012 at 12:32 PM (Answer #1)

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If we are examining "diction" as speech that is reflective of upon word choice, then it seems to me that we would be looking for examples of how Melinda's diction, or choice of words, is reflective of her characterization.  I tend to think that the best example of this would be found in the Fourth Marking Period.  It makes sense because it is at this point where her ability to "speak" is most evident.  The fact that she uses short and abrupt sentences to speak is a part of her diction. Melinda's diction is in such a manner because her ability to speak has only been recently established.  Part of her diction is explored through her writing.  Examine two such instances:  “Andy Evans...is not what he pretends to be. I heard he attacked a ninth grader” and "No one should be forced to give speeches. I choose to stay silent.”  In both examples of diction, there is a directness in speech.  Little in way of descriptors is used in both.  There is an emphasis on declarative sentence formation.  Melinda's diction and word choice reflects an emergence to speech, one in which declaration is in its own act importance.  Substantiation of thought is not evident in speech patterns yet as her own fumbling towards speaking is not at that point.  The best example of how Melinda's diction is reflective of this emergence to speech would have to be with the confrontation with Andy.  In her statement, "I said No," there is a defiance, a declaration that has been merged with the sense of the absolute nature of reality.  With the use of only three words, Melinda's diction reflects an ability to speak and a refusal to be silent any longer.  Throughout the closing section of the work, this emergence to power through speech has been evident and culminates at this point.  When she closes the work with her line to Mr. Freeman of " Let me tell you about it,” we find that her speech/ diction has advanced because her own psychological state has evolved.  Through this, Anderson's construction of Melinda's diction shows that word choice and verbal patterns of recognition evolve as our own condition of psychological being in the world evolves.

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