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Similes In Norman Mailer's The Death Of Benny Paet

Decent Essays
Norman Mailer, in his article “The Death of Benny Paret” claims that even the strongest person has their weakness. Mailer supports his claim by describing the fight between Paret and Griffith and the unexpected death of a champion. The author’s purpose was to point out that nobody is invincible. Mailer uses his article to appeal to people with the same mentality as Paret by using figurative language, tone, and syntax. Norman Mailer’s use of similes, solemn and disdainful tone, and various syntactical elements in his article, shows that everyone is mortal, and even those who may seem invincible have their breaking point. The author, Norman Mailer, uses similes in “The Death of Benny Paret” to support his claim that even the strongest person has their weaknesses. He does this by creating contrasting views from the first paragraph where Paret is a proud champion, to the second paragraph where he is weak and being “demolished.” Mailer described Paret’s opponent, Griffith as being “like a cat ready to rip the life out of a huge boxed rat” and his attack on Paret with his “right hand like a piston rod which has broken through the crankcase” as well as “like a baseball bat demolishing a pumpkin.” The use of these similes show that Norman Mailer had viewed Benny Paret’s opponent, Griffith, as a savage, fierce, and uncontrollable competitor. The comparisons between the fists and pistons and the use of diction like “demolishing” help illicit images and excitement into the reader
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