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What roles do speech, dialect, and elocution play in this story (The Good Lord Bird by James McBride) Examine the way McBride renders his characters--how does their speech help to define them, or contribute to their texture and complexity - Essay Example

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Written by a musician and author, McBride John, the story revolves in the period of mid-19th century where slavery existed. The narrator of the story is a young boy named Onion…
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What roles do speech, dialect, and elocution play in this story (The Good Lord Bird by James McBride) Examine the way McBride renders his characters--how does their speech help to define them, or contribute to their texture and complexity
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Download file to see previous pages Living as a girl though was tough for Onion; she managed to keep it a secret. The story ends in in a sad note when James Brown and his comrades are killed in one of their missions, and Onion is the only one who escapes and goes to freedom land. Anyway, in the story, McBride depicts the various characters in a special way. The common way which he used to differentiate different characters was by the use of different dialects. Take for instance Onion whom he had a unique dialect (McBride 11). Another person who had a dialect was Harriet Tubman and usually refers to the Bible in her talk. She is seen to speak with a different cadence plus rhythm entirely. In this essay, the roles of speech, dialect and elocution will be examined in relation to the characters in the story.
Onion in the story is seen to have a dialect while speaking. The very purpose of the author giving Onion a dialect is to commensurate his role as a non-educated boy of African-American descent. Onion speaks in a way which the blacks are able to directly associate with.
In the story, MacBride manages to create a voice for Onion that sounded more or less like a less-educated dialect. It is by the use of dialect that MacBride is able to capture the attention of the reader by trying to make them associate and relate directly to the boy in the story. Living his whole life as a slave at a white man’s farm, Onion did not get any form of education (McBride 29). Therefore, when James Brown rescued him from the previous Slave owner, Onion spoke with a dialect. Onion says in the book, “He sprinkled most of his conversation with Bible talk, thees and thous and takest and so forth. He mangled the Bible more than any man I every knowed... but with a bigger purpose, cause he knowed more words" (McBride 14). Onion said these to refer to how he viewed the old man. Speaking in a dialect, Onion was directly referring to the old man’s nature of constantly relying on the bible verses to justify his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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