What sort of diction is used in "Ballad of the Landlord"?  

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This poem tells the story of a black man being discriminated against by his white landlord. The poem has three different speakers, and the diction of each of these speakers tells the story of their relationship and the harsh reality of the discrimination faced by African-Americans in the 1930s.

When the black resident is speaking we see small clues to an African-American dialect : “’member” in the first verse, for “remember,” the use of “is” in “these steps is broken down,” “Ten bucks more’n I’ll pay you,” the use of “gonna” and the deletion of the helping verb in the present continuous later on, as in “You talkin’ high and mighty,” and the use of “ain’t.” In these first four verses, the diction is focused on injustice, becoming more and more confrontational as the poem progresses. The first verse is an innocent reminder about the leak the resident told the landlord about the week before; the second verse is a little tongue-in-cheek, the resident...

(The entire section contains 645 words.)

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