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The Aristocrat Essay

776 words - 4 pages


Word choice and diction are key elements in expression of one's emotions and

character. In the short exerpt from Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, entitled, "The Aristocrat," the association of language and character is made clear. Language is used to express feelings, instill emotions in others, and separate classes of people. Language is a key element in the expression of oneself.

	The use of language and tones is what expresses feelings from one individual. During a conversation with Mrs. Flowers, Mrs. Henderson states that she only does what she does sowell with the help of the lord (163). The way she says this shows her faith. It also revealsthe pride ...view middle of the document...

This is one emotion associated with how others speak. Later, the narrator mentions how her mother had a tendency to misuse her vowels around Mrs. Flowers in a way that aggravated and actually angered Marguerite (162). This shows that the way her mother talked embued the narrator with anger. Since anger and frustration are the natural companions of embarrassment, it was more than likely that the speaker in this story would feel those accompanying emotions. Finally, after a command by Mrs. Flowers, the narrator says, "I couldn't have refused even if I wanted to. She pronounced my name so nicely. Or more correctly, she spoke each word with such clarity that I was certain a foreigner who didn't understand English could have

understood her" (163). This is in indication of how the narrator is impressed by the oration of Mrs. Flowers. Marguerite sees Mrs. Flowers as a talented word artist who can make a name into a masterpiece.

	The way language is used by a group of people is indicative of what class they belong to. This is first illustrated in the work when Marguerite mentions that her mother and Mrs. Flowers were, "...alike as sisters, separated only by formal...

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