Style of writing

The language of the short story “Some Are Born to Sweet Delight” by Nadine Gordimer is generally easy to follow. However, certain sentences are rather long and complex such as:

There had rubbed off on the commissionaire’s braid on the father’s uniform, through the contact of club members’ coats and briefcases he relieved them of, loyal consciousness of the danger of bombs affixed under the cars of members of Parliament and financiers.

Gordimer is an experienced and eloquent writer, and a sentence like this one is a good example of her literary skills although some may find it too complicated. Apart from that, the text has indications of a slightly informal style of writing. Contractions such as “we’d”, “I’m”, “didn’t” etc. are present throughout the text. They are also used in dialogue, giving it authenticity and conveying a feeling of familiarity between the characters.

Sometimes, the punctuation is omitted to create a narrative device known as stream of consciousness. This narrative mode depicts the thought process of a character and shows how memories and thoughts pass through their mind: “As she left the kitchen a few meaningless echoes of what had happened to her went back and forth – are you all right yes I’m all right are you sure yes I’m all right”.

The language can also appear fragmented. Comments, explanations, and repetitio...

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