Language

Choice of words and style of writing

The language in the short story “Weddings and Beheadings” written by Hanif Kureishi is simple and straightforward, without many figures of speech. The story is written in the present tense (except for the account the narrator gives about his closest friend, which is written in the past tense). This suggests that the job which the narrator is describing is something that happens regularly. This has the unsettling effect of normalizing shocking events.

“Weddings and Beheadings” could be considered a monologue. The narrator is making a confession to the reader, and addresses the reader directly throughout the story, as indicated through the frequent use of the pronoun “you”. The narrator makes comments to the reader, he offers technical advice, and even involves the readers directly in the events, forcing them to imagine what it would be like if they were filming the beheadings. There are also other ways in which the narrator addresses the reader, such as when he says “It might surprise you” or “I know you ...

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