SYNTAX

advertisement
SYNTAX
Syntax =
Sentence
Structure
The way that words are organized.
CATEGORIES OF SYNTAX:
Sentences can be:
 Loose, periodic, or balanced
 Loose sentence =
 Periodic sentence =
 Simple, compound, complex, or compoundcomplex
 Statements, questions, commands, or
exclamations
 Rhetorical questions
TECHNIQUES OF AN AUTHOR’S SYNTAX:












Parallelism
Antithesis
Parenthesis
Ellipsis
Asyndeton
Polysyndeton
Alliteration
Assonance
Anaphora
Epistrophe
Chiasmus
Juxtapostion
ALL ELEMENTS
OF AN
AUTHOR’S
SYNTAX !!!
SIGNIFICANCE:
WHY???
Short sentences are almost always
abrupt, intense, and confrontational.
They force a sudden stop in thinking.
Long sentences, on the other hand, are
more thoughtful and permit or require
reflection.
SIGNIFICANCE:
WHY???
Asyndeton ( the omission of conjunctions)
creates more rapid prose. Conversely,
polysyndeton (the over-use of
conjunctions) emphasizes the amount of
something, making a list of things even
longer.
“I came, I saw, I conquered.”
“By seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived—no thin
five piece affair but a whole pit full of oboes and
trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and
piccolos and low and high drums…the air is alive with
chatter and laughter and casual innuendo and
introductions forgotten on the spot and enthusiastic
meetings between women who never knew each other’s
names.” (The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
SIGNIFICANCE:
WHY???
Rhetorical ?s manipulate the reader to
provide the answer the author wants you
to accept. They are never meant as a real
?, but are always coercive.
Repetition (includes anaphora and
polysyndeton) provides emphasis.
Anaphora – “I feared the war, yes, but I also feared exile. I was
afraid of walking away from my own life, my friends and my
family, my whole history, everything that mattered to me. I
feared losing the respect of my parents. I feared the law. I
feared the ridicule and censure.” (The Things They Carried by
Tim O’Brien)
SIGNIFICANCE:
WHY???
Juxtaposition can have many effects. For
example, it can help to create tone, or in
some cases IRONY.
Antithesis is a more specific form of
juxtaposition – it’s when two opposites are
in parallel structure.
“To generalize about war is like generalizing
about peace. Almost everything is true.
Almost nothing is true.” (The Things They
Carried by Tim O’Brien)
ANALYZE THE SYNTAX IN THIS PARAGRAPH FROM
TIM OBRIEN’S THE THINGS THEY CARRIED
War is hell, but that’s not the half of it,
because war is also mystery and terror
and adventure and courage and
discovery and holiness and pity and
despair and longing and love. War is
nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war
is drudgery. War makes you a man;
war makes you dead. The truths are
contradictory. It can be argued, for
instance, that war is grotesque. But in
truth war is also beauty.
ANALYZE THE SYNTAX IN THIS PARAGRAPH FROM
ANNIE DILLARD’S AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD
He chased Mikey and me around the yellow house
and up a backyard path we knew by heart: under a
low tree, up a back, through a hedge, down some
snowy steps, and across the grocery store’s delivery
driveway. We smashed through a gap in another
hedge, entered a scruffy backyard and ran around
its back porch and tight between houses to
Edgerton Avenue; we ran across Edgerton to an
alley and up our own sliding woodpile to the Halls’
front yard. He kept coming. We ran up Lloyd
Street and wound through mazy backyards toward
the steep hilltop at Willard and Lang. He chased us
silently, block after block. He chased us silently
over picket fences, through thorny hedges, between
houses, around garbage cans, and across streets.
AND THIS ONE, ALSO FROM DILLARD:
In that instant while the streetcar stopped
upraised over its track like an animal bewildered,
while it swayed over the cars’ lane and hung on
its side and its trolley stick dangled askew, I saw
it continue its roll; I saw precisely which cars it
would fall on, and which dim people silhouetted
inside the cars and the streetcar would be the
most surprised. I saw, too, in that clear instant,
that if the streetcar did derail, I would have to
come forward and give myself up to the police,
and do time, and all that, for the alternative was
living all the rest of life on the lam.
AND THIS ONE TOO:
People built Tampa on one coast, and they built
Miami on another. Then—the height of visionary
ambition and folly—they piled a slow,
tremendous road through the terrible
Everglades to connect them. To build the road,
men stood sunk in the muck to their armpits.
They fought off cottonmouth moccasins and sixfoot alligators. They slept in boats, wet. They
blasted muck with dynamite, cut jungle with
machetes; they laid logs, dragged drilling
machines, hauled dredges, heaped limestone.
The road took fourteen years to build up by the
shovelful, a Panama Canal in reverse, and cost
hundreds of lives from tropical diseases.
AND THIS ONE!
(writing about books and reading)
The wild and fatal whoops, the war
whoops of the warriors, the red warriors
whooping on a raid. It was a delirium.
The tongue diddled the brain. Private
life, book life, took place where words met
imagination without passing through
world.
AND THIS ONE! LAST ONE, I SWEAR.
What I sought in books was imagination. It was
depth, depth of thought and feeling; some sort of
extreme of subject matter; some nearness to
death; some call to courage. I myself was getting
wild; I wanted wildness, originality, genius,
rapture, hope. I wanted strength, not tea parties.
What I sought in books was a world whose
surfaces, whose people and events and days
lived, actually matched the exaltation of the
interior life. There you could live.
ANAYSIS
“ANSWERS”
There are a variety of effects that the syntax of these
excerpts create. These are not the only correct
answers, but they are a place to start when
analyzing these passages.
O’BRIEN PASSAGE
The use of paradox highlights the paradox of war itself.
This is one of the major themes in the book.
 The polysyndeton illustrates the many facets of war.
Was is complicated. Soldiers suffer not only physical
burdens, but multiple emotional and mental burdens
as well.
 The anaphora demonstrates the many things that war
is – these multiple effects it has on the soldiers.

DILLARD
HE CHASED MIKEY AND ME…
Parallelism of the chase adds emphasis to the action of
the chase – creates a movement to the text, readers can
imagine the action
 Next sentence starts with “We smashed,” following the
long parallel sentence prior to it, emphasizing the
action of the SMASH. This long sentence then mirrors
the length of the chase.
 Short sentence – emphasis. Mimics the action of
turning to look back quickly while being chased to check
your pursuer’s proximity
 More long sentence action… more parallel… same

IN THAT INSTANT…
“I saw” anaphora – narrator is imagining the
streetcar tipping over in her head, and the
repercussions it would have. She “sees” all of this in
her mind
 Maybe this is a stretch, but…
The first sentence reads quickly until you get to the
“trolley stick dangled askew.” The variance of vowel
sounds and harsh consonants slow down the reading
for a moment, as if she is, for a moment, seeing the
action happen in slow motion.

PEOPLE BUILT TAMPA…
Dashes set off a sarcastic remark, an insertion of
thought/opinion from the narrator
 “sunk into the muck” – the cacophonic u assonance and k
consonance emphasizes the act of sinking. You could also
say “stuck in a rut” and get the same effect of the low u
sound
 “wet” being set off by the comma forces the reader to
pause before they get to wet – like it’s not bad enough to
being sleeping in a boat, but you’re also… wet. No fun.
 Parallelism and asyndeton – they did a lot of work

THE WILD AND FATAL…
W alliteration mimics the whooping sound
 “words” & “world” in close proximity – helps to
create the idea that words can create worlds –
the power of reading

WHAT I SOUGHT IN BOOKS…
Repetition of “depth” – yep, it’s really deep
 Anaphora of “some” displays her reaching for a
thought, trying to put her finger on exactly what it is
 Asyndeton – rapid prose, she wants to get a lot out of
reading, it’s exciting
 Short sentence at the end – emphasis, the point of the
passage.

Download
Related flashcards

Literature

26 cards

Literary genres

22 cards

Metaphors

17 cards

Medieval literature

42 cards

Fiction

18 cards

Create Flashcards