An Example Of Understatement : Totem Comprehension Questions

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English 12 Totem Comprehension Questions By Rajan Manhas 5. An understatement is the presentation of something being less worse than something is. An example of the usage of it is when Walter says "[this] is getting to be a real problem"(Totem 122). Essentially, that understatement invokes some humor since that Walter is clearly not seeing the problem that he is causing of trying to get rid of the totem pole because of not considering it Canadian art rather than let it co-exist with the rest of the art in the museum. In terms of criticism, I would say that understatement is definitely an effective form of criticism. The reasoning behind that is because that the understatement clearly underlines the problems between Walter noticing a problem and not recognizing the problem. What that means is that Walter notices a problem about the totem annoying him, which the author displays in a literal sense but does not recognize the actual problem of himself refusing to co-exist with another culture because of his own values, which the author displays in a figurative sense. Overall, using understatements in that way are examples of understatements being effective in terms of underlining a person noticing a problem but not recognizing a problem. 6. A, Besides understatement, personification is one term that the author uses to create humor. An example of personification is when “the totem pole [sang] in the corner …” (Totem 122), which gave Walter a headache. Essentially, one way that could be humorous is that Walter’s day is not being a great day because of himself trying to get rid of the totem pole rather than put it back in the museum where it belongs. In fact, the totem started making noises because of some people in the museum not accepting the totem as appropriate Canadian art, not to mention even more noise being made by it when people like Walter wanted to remove the totem from the building. If people have left the totem alone and recognize it as art and therefore let it exist above in the museum rather than bury its significance in the basement, the totem would not have made noise given that the totem made even more noise when people tried to remove it from the building but less noise when people left it alone.

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