Choice of words

The style of language in the short story “A Way of Talking” by Patricia Grace is generally informal, closely resembling spoken speech. Language is an important device in this story. Each character’s choice of words is relevant to the narrative, as well as a reflection of the characters’ personalities, ethnicity, and beliefs. Rose is very flexible in her language use. For instance, when she confronts Jane regarding her racist remark, she changes her style of talking from her usual, casual style, to a more formal one, similar to what Hera perceives to be white people's style: “she was talking all Pakehafied”.

Jane's unfortunate choice of words reveals her racism: “That’s Alan. He’s been down the road getting the Maoris for scrub cutting.”. Referring to people by their ethnic group, using the definite article “the” in front of it, is a strong evidence of her prejudice again...

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