The language of the short story “Arrangement in Black and White” by Dorothy Parker mimics the oral speech of Sothern Americans and uses simple words that are easy to understand. The text is very similar to a dramatic monologue as it mostly conveys what the main character is saying. The choice of words is connected to music, to African-Americans, and racism.

Dialogue is the main way of conveying the story, and imagery can only be identified in brief narrative passages in which the narrator describes the characters: “The woman with the pink velvet poppies twined round the assisted gold of her hair traversed the crowded room at an interesting gait combining a skip with a sidle, and clutched the lean arm of her host.” 

This helps readers create mental images of how the characters look and act. 

Irony and humor dominate the text as the main character often contradicts herself and comes across as unaware of her racial prejudices: “He's really awfully fond of colored people. Well, he says himself, he wouldn't have white servants.”


A few similes help readers understand the true nature of the main character. The woman claims she likes African-Americans but compares them to children: “They're just like children”. This suggests that she actually views African-Americans as inferior and treats them like a form of entertainment.

To convey the character’s falseness, the narrator describes her “moving her...

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