William Carlos Williams Writing Styles in In the American Grain

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Name

Style 1

Point of View

The author varies the point of view from essay to essay to suit his purposes, which are primarily of mood and tone. Within the essays, the point of view often shifts from the words of the original source to Williams’s commentary. Sometimes Williams merges the two, with results that raise the hackles of twenty-first century readers sensitive to plagiarism and adept at Google searches. For instance, the meeting between Jacataqua and Aaron Burr is entirely lifted, without quotes or attribution, from a 1916 collection of stories by members of the Maine Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Language and Meaning

Williams is a poet – language and meaning are what he talks about. Sometimes he is deliberately obscure (“Advent of the Slaves,” “Abraham Lincoln”), but the overall effect is of a deep and significant meaning. Language and meaning are central to Williams’s sense of place...

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This section contains 258 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the In the American Grain Study Guide
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