|Style Steal Intro*
Student Name: ___________________________Date: _______ Period: _______
Directions: Read the following two passages. How are they similar? How are they different? Be as specific as possible/make notes!.
Hark! Eager—very, very eager I had been and am. I glanced—in passing--at the object of my desires—the first, very first time I saw the gem glistening there at the bottom of my bowl; and what bowl you ask? The bowl of my captivity. I gazed earnestly, silently—not moving—upon the shimmering perfection of the stone that I had encountered at the bottom of my bowl. I wanted to grasp hold of it in my hands—oh so carefully. It became an obsession!
Oh so dignified was the translucent membrane of a fin that crowned my back. And golden were the scales that adorned my rotund figure. The cloudy haunted waters of my domain had occupied me in prior days—occupied me with their never ending passivity. I had not experienced desire (only the natural and necessary needs of every human) but not desire. I had not experienced the pain of emptiness until I took note of that poor pebble. Never had I felt that I lacked. And then, after the annual sanitation of my domain, the glowering pearl unearthed itself under my very feet. And I wanted it for my own.
But hands I had none and have none. Limited as I am by this miniscule carriage that I find myself in. And so I circle—so slowly, very slowly—in this tank that is a prison. I breathe—I breathe again. I continue existing knowing that I can never possess the object of my desire.
TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution --with what foresight --with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it --oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly --very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed.
Step 1: Choose the piece that you would like to focus on.
“Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid (short story)
“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"How to date a brown girl (black girl, white girl, or halfie)" by Junot Diaz
“Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allen Poe
Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 2-25 from Romeo and Juliet (But soft what light through yonder window breaks . . . . )
“Real Food” by CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
"[i carry your hear with me(i carry it in]" by E. E. Cummings
“His Name Was Pete” by William Faulkner
(see attachment from website)
Step 2: Read your chosen piece and summarize it here.
Step 3: ANALYZE (What are the stylistic devices used in this piece that I will need to duplicate in my style steal?)
Diction- The author’s choice of words.
Directions: Put a check next to the adjectives below that you could use to categorize the words that this author has used. As you find evidence to defend your adjectives--make notes on the last page of this document! Quotes will be helpful!
formal: aimed at an elite audience, longer, more sophisticated words create an educated or elevated tone (sounds smart)
semi-formal: aimed at a general but thoughtful audience, generally used in newspapers and magazines
informal: the language of everyday use, includes simple words, contractions, slang, abbreviations, etc.
technical: the language that is the specialized vocabulary of a particular trade or profession
concrete: words that describe the physical world
abstract: words that refer to ideas, emotions, or intangible concepts
slang: refers to a group of recently coined words which come and go
colloquial: words that are non-standard, often regional, informal language
jargon: words that are characteristic of a particular profession, like technical
dialect: words used by nonstandard subgroup which has its own vocabulary, often reveals socioeconomic class or region
polysyllabic: (more than one syllable), longer more formal language that increases difficulty of content
monosyllabic: (one syllable) words that are easy to understand, short and simple
euphonious: words that are pleasant sounding
cacophonous: words that are harsh sounding
Syntax- the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language
Directions: Answer the following questions about the text. As you find notable elements, write them down in the "notes" section!
Does the author use simple, compound, complex, and/ or compound-complex sentences? Does the author use a diversity of sentence types?
Does the author use polysyndeton (potatoes and carrots and spaghetti) or asyndeton (potatoes, carrots, spaghetti)?
Does the author use any other notable syntactical devices (dashes, anaphora, fragments, contractions, colons, semicolons, repetition, questions)?
Does the author use first person, second person, or third person pronouns?
Does the author use a lot of adjectives or adverbs?
Does the author use dialogue or only prose (narration)?
Literary and Poetic Devices
Directions: Search and annotate for the literary and poetic devices in your text. Put a check next to the ones that you find. Annotate your findings on the text.
Rhyme (Sound Device)
Irony (Three Types)
Rhyme Scheme (Sound Device)
Alliteration (Sound Device)
Of all the devices above that you found in the text, what 2-3 devices are most essential for this author’s style?
*Originally created by Mrs. Rebecca Vestal. Adapted by Ms. Tuttle
**Original composition by Mrs. Rebecca Vestal.