Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rhetorical Devices

               The help uses many rhetorical devices, but known more than colloquial language. Kathryn Stockett makes sure that each one of her characters sounds real. She doesn't just say, “she said it in a southern accent”, she writes it out so when you read it the words become a southern accent. The reader doesn't have to infer what it sounds like because it is written that way. Stockett’s use of colloquial language is continuous throughout the novel and varies as the characters change, for every few characters have distinct dialects or accents.
A few examples of Stockett’s use of colloquial language occur on page 520 of the Help:
                “‘I look deep into her rich brown eyes and she look into mine. Law, she got old-soul eyes, like she done lived a thousand years. And I swear I see, down inside, the woman she gone grow up to be..and then she say it, just like I need her to. ‘You is kind,’ she say, “you is smart. You is important.’
                ‘Oh Law.’ I hug her hot little body to me. I fell like she done just given me a gift. ‘Thank you, Baby Girl.’” (Stockett 520 -521)
                In this excerpt we see that when Aibileen is thinking, and even taking, she is not speaking English properly, but rather informally. It adds character to her, because in real life people who speak their language do not always speak it formally. We see in this excerpt that “you is kind” should actually be “you are kind”, but that is not the way Stockett wanted her character to speak.
                Another aspect of rhetoric used in this excerpt is repetition. In this passage, Mae Mobley repeats the words “you is”, and the multiple use of the words adds emphasis. It shows the reader that this is something to be remembered, that it is something significant because has occurred more than once.


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