The Knife Essay, Research Paper
The Knife Like a slender fish, it waits, at the ready, then, go! Description and similes like the former sentence fill Richard Seizer s essay, The Knife , almost to the point of bursting, delivering a cornucopia of imagery to the reader and shedding new light on even the least noticeable items. In the work, Seizer uses a collection of intense details, strategically well placed diction, and a point of view that allows maximum insight to the speaker s mind. The examples of detail in the essay are numerous, nearly weighing the piece down with its ability to artistically paint the author s scene into the reader s mind. The flesh parts, falling away to yellow globules of fat from the slit made by this terrible steel-bellied thing. Possibly the most noteworthy element in this description is the verb use, the words parts and falling away give the flesh almost a will in which you receive the image of the body spilling open, all caused by one swift motion of the hand. Adjectives dominate the sentence, though, piling details on details in order to complete the scene. He scurries across our holy place and filthies our altar rushes through the author s mind as we turn to its incarnation with a vengeance, and pluck it from the lip of the incision in the nick of time. The previous sentence describes not the appearance of the small ant making its way to the open wound, but the actions it makes. Yet again the verbs stand proud within the passage, displaying for all to see and picture the vision of the ant rushing to its destination. Upon reading even the first few paragraphs in the piece in question, the reader is practically knocked over by examples of diction. The author is the executioner , excluded for a moment while the cleric [comforts] the prisoner before the resignation. The author uses a select choice of words to display his feelings, managing to portray different views of the other members of the operating staff in the same effort. Seizer s diction allows the reader to understand exactly what the author is thinking as the reader s
eyes lock onto the words. The Ant of the Absurd is drawn from its linen lair and heads to the very boils of the guts. The wording of this sentence doesn t just allow for deeper investigation of the author s mind, but goes as far as to do the word of detail and display images to the reader s brain. The ant moves slowly from its hiding place, obviously heading to the open wound and the reader sees it all through the author s ability to select the perfect words for the job which it so elegantly accomplishes. The piece is packed with examples of diction, these are just a few that one might notice on first glance. Point of view strikes the reader unexpectedly, due to the unique perspective it is shown through. I am repairing the strangulated hernia of an old man and, because of his age and condition, I am using local anesthesia. The obvious viewpoint portrayed in the selection is first-person, which always presents the reader with complete and utter insight into the reader s thought. The reader does not require intense detail outlining the author s thoughts, feelings, worries, doubt, et cetera, because he or she receives them straight-forwardly through the author s own words. I listen to them whispering and I listen with breathe held. The phrasing and the obvious inclusion of the word I lead to understanding of the author s feelings of nervousness as he awaits the dreaded point in time when he will have to work on the patient before him. The feelings are displayed directly by his actions, but also through the way even the slightest things are noticed of the author s own performances. Point of view brings the reader closer to the reading than any other device in this piece, and these examples barely scratch the surface. Richard Seizer s genius with his essay The Knife portrays everything a story should include. Gripping detail, diction that gives us an intimate perspective of the author, and a point of view that reveals everything all exist harmoniously within the work. The devices manage to deliver the story that, lacking any great and thorough plot, one would not expect from any other writer.
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