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Close reading - Essay Example

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Your Name: Class: Submission Date: Candide Voltaire Analysis of Chapter 11, page 25 In this part of the book Voltaire is describing an old woman by stating how she used to be and how her life has changed now. He uses very simple and short sentences that make it easier for the reader to connect with the text…
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Close reading
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"Close reading"

Download file to see previous pages He not only physically describes the woman but also creates a contrast between her early privileged life and her life as a servant now. He uses strong heavy words in describing her past, words like castle, robes, princess and many more that create a lasting impression of the luxurious life the women had before. These words create a very powerful and impactful picture in the reader’s mind. ‘I have not always been blear–eyed.’ He starts off with this sentence which appeals to the reader. This sentence creates a mystery for the reader as automatically the reader gets interested in the idea of what that woman must have been before the present story line. The reader would inevitably be forced to read ahead and find out what the woman’s past holds, indeed. Also in choosing the title of the chapter the author has hidden a mystery which makes the reader continue. He uses a sarcastic humorous tone in comparing her clothes and home to the living of German barons when he states that the woman’s robe alone could have bought half the province of Westphalia. Voltaire pays a lot of attention to the description of things in the book in general, in this paragraph in particular he is describing the younger version of the woman, and he looks closely at the changes that show in a woman when she becomes older. He not only highlights her character by using words like ‘wisdom’ and her ‘graceful accomplishments’, but also goes on commenting on her physical changes when he talks about her breasts, eyebrows and eyes, creates an image by using very simple words but such that would clearly paint a picture of that woman in the reader’s eyes. He uses metaphors to make the description feel real, ‘her eyebrows as black as jet’. Using metaphors makes it easier for the reader to relate to the portrayal of a character. Voltaire uses very bold words in the depiction of the image of that woman, ‘as for my eyes, they darted flames and eclipsed the lustre of the Stars’. Other than describing the woman with words and metaphors he adds in the story testimony of other characters in the story which further proves his depiction of the character. It is a unique and different yet effective way of portraying a character. Looking at the writing style of author in these paragraphs it can be seen that he is not just describing the character for its image but is also moving the story ahead in that description, and how he moves from the present of the character to her past, and in her past from the age of fourteen to the age where she was all ready to marry. In describing the ceremony of the nuptials he manages to capture the royalty of the family she belonged to by using a word like ‘magnificence’. Voltaire often uses direct dialogues in continuing the story making it feel like a film to the reader. Other than using direct dialogues he also uses the feeling of the character like ‘I loved him, too, as our sex generally for the first time, with rapture, transport, and idolatry’ which makes it easier for the reader to understand and connect with the characters. Although the author is describing everything in detail painting a vivid picture of that woman and her past he still manages to keep it all very concise and to the point without dragging it, which keeps the reader involved. The coherent link between the description and the story line makes it easier for the reader to follow and keep up with the extensive description. In all the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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