Style and literary standards. All writers have a style, but not all styles are good. Whether a style is good or bad largely depends on whether it is appropriate to the work. What does the style lend to the work as a whole? Style should work with other elements to produce a final unity. Style is the author’s personal expression. It reveals his/her way of perceiving experience and organizing perceptions. Style includes the author’s choice of words as well as arrangement of words into phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. Elements of style: diction, imagery, and syntax.
Diction: the author’s choice of words and their effect on the total work. Denotative meaning: the literal meaning of a word. Connotative meaning: suggestions and associations resulting from a word or group of words. Several words may have the same denotation, while differing significantly in their connotation. Is a writer’s style basically denotative or connotative?
Imagery: the evocation of a sensory experience through words.
- Literal images: Suggest no change or extension in the meaning of a word; supply specific, concrete details.
- Figurative images, or figures of speech; similes and metaphors
- Recurrent images: Repetitions of the same or similar images throughout a work can reinforce an effect that the author is trying to create.
- Symbols: The author’s attempts to represent areas of human experience that ordinary language cannot express; the symbol evokes a concrete, objective reality while suggesting a level of meaning beyond that reality.
- Archetypal image: concept of Carl Jung. There are images and symbols that are universal, existing from one culture to another, that always have the same meaning.