Literary Device and Their Uses

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Literary Device and Their Uses

The use of literary devices has proven to be the key to a successful short story. An author's use of these devices makes or breaks the story for a reader. He must successfully define such things as the character, theme and setting to put the reader into their mind frame to fully understand and feel the story. In this week's readings, we are shown the authors' use of literary devices with serious ironies to show human condition and the nature of humanity. Such stories as "The Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat," "The Rocking-Horse Winner," and "Gilded Six Bits" shine light on the essence of the human condition and the nature of humanity. While, Ellison's "Battle Royal", and Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" define irony and draw the reader into sympathy and disbelief. Although telling powerful stories can sometimes be as easy as conveying the information, subtly introducing ironies, using correct symbolisms, and even using the right point of view, is what enhances and expands the author's vision.

In the readings presented to us this week, the majority are set in the same time; when racism was still alive. Although most people were eager to move passed the stereotypes, it was hard for most to adapt. The authors in each story had a very similar theme: socially repressed African-American characters struggling to be accepted in the white-man dominated society. In the likes of Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" and Ellison's "Battle Royal", we see the desperation for each character to belong someway, somehow. While these two stories focused more on the struggle, such stories as "The Rocking-Horse Winner" give us true light on human nature. The story that captured my attention and sympathy the most was "Battle Royal," in which the author does an excellent job in using irony to make the reader understand something that the character in the story is obviously oblivious about. Meanwhile, the reader is finding himself almost talking to the young boy, wanting to make him see what is truly going on in front of his eyes.

This use of irony is what makes Ellison one of the better writers, in my opinion, of this week's readings. In his "Battle Royal" the young man is searching for acceptance in the currently unequal society. He desperately tries to break the cycle of racism and racial stereotype by attending school and achieving high marks.

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