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Lillian Hellman's Essay 'Pentimento'

Decent Essays
Lillian Hellman’s particular usage of certain words and diction creates a new atmosphere in her story “Pentimento”. Hellman’s usage of these words creates sentimentality within the story through the effect of the words developing an innocent tone. Many words throughout the story contribute to the effect because it connects the audience to the author. If these words were replaced with others, then the intended tone of the author would be significantly different compared to Lillian Hellman’s sad, yet innocently developing perspective and tone. Lillian Hellman’s essay “Pentimento” has a different effect compared to other essays. Her effect on her essay is designed to show the loss of innocence and the effects of war. I believe that Lillian Hellman…show more content…
“Childhood is less clear to me than to many people” (Hellman 1). Hellman utilizes the word ‘childhood’ to show her mature reminiscence of her life. This introduction already starts the mature perspective and the evident loss of childlike purity. “I know when it is to be trusted and when some dream or fantasy entered on the life, and the dream, the need of dream, led to distortion of what happened. “ (Hellman 8-10). In Lillian Hellman’s opening remark of her second paragraph, she keeps using the word dream. This word develops the effect of a childlike desire and wish in her story. “And so I know early that the rampage angers of an only child were distorted nightmares of reality”(Hellman 10-12). Another important word Lillian uses is distortion. Distortion develops her desired effect towards the audience. Using the word distorted, the reader would feel compassion or understanding for the child in her story that experiences the distortion. The use of ambitious words like dream and distortion shows the audience of the main character’s mature attempts to understand the childlike innocence she losses due to experiencing
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