What is the diction of the short story "Poison"?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Poison"--like many of Roald Dahl's stories--has quite simple diction.  Dahl, whose diction is similar to Ernest Hemingway's in its conciseness, focuses more on building suspense and characterization through dialogue.

American readers will notice variations of spelling because of Dahl's British vernacular, but for the most part the story's diction is free of dialectal influences.

Below is a quote from the end of "Poison" which represents Dahl's concise style:

" 'All he needs is a good holiday,' he said quietly, without looking at me, then he started the engine and drove off."

This closing comment on the Indian doctor's part toward Harry's racism demonstrates Dahl's preciseness in choosing just the right word or lack of words to express his themes.