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Diction Analysis

            Authors use diction to express the mood of the writing and how they feel about it. In The Secret Sharer and Other Stories the author, Joseph Conrad, uses diction to express an informed and descriptive feel. .
             The use of formal language forms a trust in the author because of the intelligent mood it sets. Words such as opaque, elongated, and phosphorescent are definitely not used conversationally and give this excerpt a more official feel. The more formal words drew my attention to the importance of the setting separating it from the action of the piece. .
             Much description was used to get across the mood of the piece. In the first half, when the setting was still being established, the author used personification to describe the stillness of the water by illustrating it as sleeping. When describing the headless corpse, the author starts by describing the feet, then the legs, and next the back, depicting the author moving his head to view the whole man. While I read this line I could picture just how this scene played out which is exactly what the author wanted his diction to bring about. .
             Another place where I could really feel the author was when he describer his reaction to the corpse. –“The cigar dropped out of my gaping mouth with a tiny plop and a short hiss quite audible in the absolute stillness of all things under heaven.” – The shorter, more precise language differed from the way the setting was described in that it conveyed a more active, astounded mood. The way the cigar is described as falling out of the gaping mouth also illustrates the action and brings the scene to life for the reader. Onomatopoeias such as plop and hiss are yet another way the author describes the reaction to the corpse. You can picture the cigar making that noise when falling into the water and being put out. I also really liked the use of hyperbole in this line when he says “all things under heaven”.