Analysis of Totally by Taylor Mali Essay

Analysis of Totally by Taylor Mali Essay

Length: 798 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

People of the current generation have adjusted their speech in order to avoid criticism for whatever opinions they may express. Of course, we all have opinions, but do we want to be told that we’re wrong? No, and society has changed because of our weakness and inability to accept being wrong. Instead of declaring our thoughts with absolute belief, we add an interrogative tone to allow things we say to be changed without it having an affect on how smart or cool we seem to be. In “Totally,” Taylor Mali uses figurative language, diction, and syntax to convey that society has lost its voice of conviction.
Figurative language, which includes tone, metaphor, irony, etc., plays a huge role in the translation of the text. It allows us to decipher a deeper meaning behind the literal meaning of words, whether or not they are in a phrase. The tone of the poem is authoritative, yet jokingly interrogative. Though he uses punctuation and diction to display an interrogative point of view, he states things in a way that shows us, very clearly, that he firmly believes in them as well. In the first few lines of his first stanza and second stanza, Mali uses pronouns you and you’re to show his point of view is that of an adult, who notices and has an opinion on communication patterns. It’s how he addresses society. He informs us of the, “tragically cool interrogative tone,” and how it makes us sound like we don’t know what we’re talking about. Then, around the middle of both stanzas, he switches to the point of view of a teenager, including himself in the crowd of insecure speakers by utilizing the pronouns I’m, I’ve, I, my, me, and our. In his third and fourth stanza, he includes himself in the group entirely, which shows us that every trend rub...


... middle of paper ...


... is shown moreover through these pauses. We also see that he places question marks at the end of sentences, which is another way he is showing us the uncertainty in the voice of society. Through his punctuation and word placement, we clearly see the voice of society in his poem, but in a way that tells us not to conform to it.
The tone of the poem let’s one read it in a way that allows them to sense the message behind Mali’s words. Adding to tone, anastrophe puts in pauses and gives a more dramatic feel, emphasizing the words, chosen for diction, that are said. One can notice that descriptive words (which are part of diction), imagery, and metaphors are used to draw the attention and hold the focus of the reader. In “Totally,” Taylor Mali uses all these poetic devices to draw the reader in and expand their awareness of the inarticulate situation of our society.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner By Samuel Taylor Coleridge Essay

- The Depressing Truth: An Analysis of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Occasionally, the wisest people are often the sadest. The harsh realities of the world often take an effect on the experienced individuals, causing a depressed mindset. The world as we know it has many luxuries, but with those commodities also comes sorrow and miseries. One piece of literature that shows this relationship is Samuel Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. A sailor is cursed for killing an albatross, and primarily lives to tell the tale of the ghost ship....   [tags: Samuel Taylor Coleridge]

Better Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

Mali : A Landlocked Country Essay

- Introduction Mali, a landlocked country in Northwest Africa, is currently one of the poorest countries in the world. In the 1990’s, Mali’s fortune was looking up as the country had rapid economic growth and a democracy that flourished along with social stability. The state had control of the north and a military coup that ousted the president due to his failure to protect the soldiers. Soldiers returning from Libya who had equipped themselves with weapons from Libya’s armories started the coup. Soldiers were tired of being under-equipped to fight the Tuaregs (NOSSITER)....   [tags: Mali, Africa, Niger, Military]

Better Essays
1261 words (3.6 pages)

The Marginalized Tuareg of Mali Essay

- The Tuareg people are a historically nomadic ethnic group who have populations throughout Mali, Algeria, Libya, Niger, and Burkina Faso. In the past year the Tuareg’s strides for a state of their own has attracted the notice of the international community, particularly their strides in Mali. This conflict has involved many players from the international community and does not seem to have an end in sight. Unrest has plagued Mali for quite some time, this nation has had a series of coups and ousted leaders since freedom from the French in 1959....   [tags: Mali war of the Shadows]

Better Essays
2597 words (7.4 pages)

Essay about Race in The Help, by Tate Taylor

- A Tate Taylor film, The Help (2009) emphasizes the extreme, racially-charged stereotypes thus endorses racial thinking. Blacks in this film are represented broadly as common house maids, or domestic slaves, but specifically as oppressed, unhappy, impoverished, and products of hardship through the utilization of racist stereotypes and juxtaposition with the lives of affluent whites in the southern United States, a juxtaposition which immortalizes the racial gap between whites and blacks. The actions of the black characters support the cultural stereotypes that are pervasive throughout this film....   [tags: film analysis, tate taylor]

Better Essays
2450 words (7 pages)

Mali 's Government, History, Economy, And Geography Essay

- Once apart of three famed West African empires which controlled trans-Saharan trade in gold, salt, slaves, and other precious commodities, the Republic of Mali is now a landlocked country in West Africa that struggles politically and economically amongst both past and present conflicts between the people and their government. While the country has and continues to grapple with many issues internally, the impact that Mali has had on the world and the positive influences and changes that continue to be seen within the country cannot be discredited....   [tags: Mali, Mali Empire, Timbuktu, Niger]

Better Essays
1263 words (3.6 pages)

Sundiata, An Epic Of Old Mali Essay

- The empire of Mali stretches back for centries and its history is vast. However, the art of storytelling has kept the land of Mali 's history alive. However, this can lead to an altered side of the story. The story of "Sundiata, An Epic Of Old Mali" written by D.T. Niane is told in the perspective of Djeli Mamoundou Kouyate. Kouyate comes from a long history of griots, or oral story tellers. The family of Koyate has mastered the art of eleoquence, and their word is well respected. So respected generations of kings have come to hear the history of their ancestors and the secrets of Mali, and became the king 's personal griots....   [tags: Sundiata Keita, Mali Empire, Keita Dynasty]

Better Essays
1061 words (3 pages)

Sundiata And The Building Of The Empire Of Mali Essay

- The Epic of Sundiata is a story of Sundiata and the building of the Empire of Mali in the thirteenth century. Sundiata founded the Mali Empire which was located in West Africa. The empire was so important to Mali because it was the biggest trade center during that time. The Epic of Sundiata was told by Balla Fasseke, Sundiata’s griot, and begins with a foretelling story of Maghan Kon Fatta, the ruler of Mali. The Epic of Sundiata began when a hunter comes and tells Maghan Kon Fatta that he will have a magnificent son, but only once he marries an ugly woman....   [tags: Sundiata Keita, Mali Empire, Mandinka people]

Better Essays
726 words (2.1 pages)

What Teachers Make By. Taylor Mali, An American Slam Poet And Teacher Essay

- Taylor Mali, an American slam poet and teacher, wrote a poem titled, “What Teachers Make”. In this poem, he rhythmically tells about other professions criticizing teachers based on their choice of occupation. While teachers will never earn six figure incomes, they make a difference. Teachers dedicate their lives to leading, inspiring, and educating future generations, all while earning meager pay. Though teachers form foundation of education, their pay does not accurately represent their skills....   [tags: Education, School, Teacher, High school]

Better Essays
1186 words (3.4 pages)

Analysis of Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Essay

- Analysis of Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge 'Kubla Khan' by Samuel Taylor Coleridge reveals the power of the imaginative poetry. This poetry has the ability to create kingdoms and paradise. In this poem Coleridge is expressing heaven and hell through his own eyes just as the aplostles did in the ?Bible. and Milton did in 'Paradise Lost'. The poem begins with a mythical tone, ?In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/ A stately pleasure dome decree.. The poem does not give specifics to the construction of the palace....   [tags: Kubla Khan Samuel Taylor Poems Essays]

Better Essays
435 words (1.2 pages)

Peter Taylor's The Old Forest Essay example

- Peter Taylor's The Old Forest Critics have continuously characterized Peter Taylor’s work, as a social critique of the South and how it shows “the effects of cultural inheritance on its people” (Bryant 66). In his story, “The Old Forest,” Taylor examines the regional history and social structures that shaped his own past and how breaking the architecture that has existed for generations is not easily accomplished. Although it takes place in 1937, with progressive girls and college students filling the city of Memphis with intellectualism and open sexuality, the social constructions of the past, most specifically the descendents of plantation owners and rich socialites, are not easily forgo...   [tags: Peter Taylor Old Forest Essays]

Better Essays
3120 words (8.9 pages)