The passage uses syntax, diction, and figurative language to convey to the reader a sense of shock, loss, and regret. The syntax defines the pace of the passage, beginning with complex sentence structure. It then switches to long, run-on sentences, eventually settling on shorter, simpler sentence structure to suggest a sense of shock and stupefication to the reader. The frank, graphic diction also enhances the pathos of the essay, horrifying and shocking the reader. Figurative language such as imagery also enhances the feeling of loss and regret by comparing the actions in the boxing ring to the life-and-death struggle of a rodent-or even worse, to a vegetable, defenseless even as its head is smashed in.
The syntax of the passage contributes greatly to the ...view middle of the document...
The sentence structure also conveys the shock of the situation with short, simple sentences.
Diction is used to draw emotion from the reader. The passage uses words such as “maulings” to not only demonstrate the dangers of boxing, but also to trigger an emotional response from the reader; dogs maul, people do not. In this sense, the visceral and graphic diction cause the reader to become more emotionally involved with the passage. Loaded words such as “hindquarters”, and animals behind, are used throughout to trigger emotional response.
Imagery and comparison, too, are used to draw emotional response-usually horror-from the reader because of the way they debase the struggle of the “proud club fighter” to that of a vermin or a vegetable. When Paret is trapped in the corner, for instance, the narrator compares him to a “huge boxed rat,” and, after he is beaten compares his head to “a baseball bat demolishing a pumpkin.” These grotesque images-and the thoughts that come with their association-horrify the reader. However, after providing these barbaric comparisons, the passage returns to reality in the final paragraph, dignifying Paret with a heroic set of images, comparing him to “a large ship which turns on end and slides second by second into the grave.” The figurative language shifts from the debasement and barbarism of the fatal boxing match to a brave fighter’s final knock out, ending with dignity and respect.
The story of Paret’s last boxing match triggers a sense of shock, loss, and regret in the reader-shock at the sheer barbarism of the fight, loss at the death of a proud fighter, and regret that a brave man’s mortality could be extinguished so easily and suddenly.