Personal sacrifice can be perceived in one of four ways: shocking, spontaneous, sterile, or selfless. Being able to find the true meaning behind an individual’s sacrifice as well as pinpointing its exact effects can be extremely tricky, and at times, impossible should one not be equipped with the skills needed to identify such variables. Nevertheless, rhetorical devices such as epiphanies, telegraphic sentences, colloquial language, and cleverly crafted diction are all capable of revealing any effects or clandestine reasoning of one’s altruistic act.
An act of sacrifice is capable of revealing the depth of ompassion that exists between two people while also triggering feelings of significance within the person benefiting from another’s selfless act. An epiphany is often used to convey the prevailing emotions between two people and ultimately, better define the relationship. Weeks after Amir witness Hassan being raped, Amir makes a decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life. He takes the money, along with a watch that he had received for his birthday, and plants it under Hassan’s pillow with hopes of being able to frame Hassan and make it seem as though he had stolen from him.
After the successfully accusation and Hassan’s outward acceptance of being a thief even though he had not actually stolen Amir’s birthday gifts, Khaled Hosseini articulates Amir’s thoughts: I flinched, like I’d been slapped my heart sank and I almost blurted out the truth. Then I understood: this was Hassan’s final sacrifice for me. If he’d said no, Baba would have believed him because we all knew Hassan never lied, and if Baba believed him then l’d be accused; I would have to explain and I would be revealed for what I really was, Baba would never, ever forgive me.
And that led to another understanding: Hassan knew. He knew l’d seen everything in that alley, that I’d stood there and done nothing. He knew I had betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time. (Hosseini 187) Initially, when Amir hears Hassan’s response, he is shocked and can not seem to understand why it is that Hassan is lying for him; all he has done for the past few weeks is push Hassan away and avoid him at all costs. Although Amir was not aware of it at the time, Hasaan knew exactly why Amir was acting so standoffish.
Hassan knew that Amir had seen him being raped in the alley and made the conscious decision to not intervene. However, rather than being angry about what Amir had done, Hassan takes an alternate route by applying his unconditional love for Amir to the situation in hopes of gaining some sort of understanding as to Amir’s reasoning at the time, and conclusively, reach forgiveness. The second Amir is able to recognize that this is Hassan’s way of saying “I understand, and I forgive you,” he transitions from being overwhelmed with feelings of confusion to feelings of love, care, and most rominently guilt.
Hassan lied for the first time in his life, gave up his job, his home, and his family all so that Amir would not have to suffer the unbearable consequence of being looked down upon by his father. Hassan’s gesture suggests that the relationship between him and Amir is an emotional bond that can never be broken. The gesture is also significant in that it guides Amir in finally understanding the prevalent and extensive love that Hassan has acquired for him over the years they have spent together.
Telegraphic sentences have the ability to ortray the risks one will take to save their child and the shock the child faces once exposed to such information. Midway through Mary Pearson’s novel, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Jenna is speaking to her mother, Claire, about how each of her hands are composed solely out of biogel. During this conversation she has a revelation: taking into consideration her clumsy legs and feet, she comes to the conclusion that they too must be made completely out of biogel; however, she knows that any person constructed of over 49% biogel has been deemed illegal and therefore, she needs reassurance.
On the rounds that she has recently gained knowledge regarding her height pre car accident, she knows exactly how to find the information she so desperately desires, “Stand up.. Stand up! How tall are you, Mother?.. How tall are you? ” Jenna exclaims while attempting to understand how it is that she is now two inches shorter than she was before. “Tell me everything… How much is me? ” (Pearson 105). Pearson’s repetitive use of telegraphic sentences creates an overwhelming feeling of worry and panic.
Jenna’s continuance to demand immediate answers and not give her mother a chance to explain herself showcases he anxiety a child faces when posed with the idea that the person who had taught them right from wrong their entire life is, for once, in the wrong. After Jenna is given a small bit of time to calm down, her mother attempts to justify the decision that she and Jenna’s father made to keep her alive at all costs by claiming, “You were burned so badly, Jenna. We tried everything… I was so hopeful. The antibiotics weren’t working… We had to make a choice” (106). The meaning behind the usage of telegraphic sentences changes here.
By using this form of yntax, Pearson is indicating that Jenna’s mother is tired, understands Jenna’s frustration and confusion, and will not apologize for the decision she has made. The reader is able to indicate a great sense of fatigue resonating within Jenna’s mom simply by comparing the complexity of the situation to the to the minute explanations she gives in return to Jenna’s frantic breakdown. It is also evident that Claire is fully aware of her daughter’s argument and concern by the way she replies with short concise explanations that have no form of hidden connotation or argumentative tone.
Jenna’s mom has one goal: o prove to Jenna that there is no risk to big when it comes her only child’s safety. The extremes one is willing to face for a loved one and the fact that the effects of sacrifice will eventually diminish can be understood through the use of colloquial language. Zora Neale Hurston begins Their Eyes Were Watching God by revealing the past of Janie’s grandmother, Nanny, a former slave. It is acknowledged that only days after Nanny’s child Leafy is born, Nanny is forced to run away from the plantation, child in hand, or risk Leafy being sold off to a different slave owning family.
She contemplates her situation, but almost instantaneously her mind is made up, “Ah knowed mah body wasn’t healed, but Ah couldn’t consider dat” (Hurston 72). In this instance, Nanny completely disregards her own health and ability to thrive as a free woman, should she escape successfully, in order to make the safety of Leafy her top priority. Hurston’s use of broken English, or in other words, colloquial language, showcases Nanny’s lack of education. Through the understanding that Nanny makes a huge sacrifice and takes a huge risk, the reader is able to better interpret the reat amount of love that Nanny feels for Leafy.
Quite impressively, some years into the future, Nanny was able to find a safe home to live in and enroll Leafy in school. Despite her inability to speak like or be accepted by educated white people, Nanny does everything in her power to provide Leafy with the best resources she can get her hands on. Out of Nanny’s control however, Leafy is raped by a teacher one day at school, and upon her return home, she was never the same again. Speaking to Janie, her granddaughter, Nanny recalls Leafy’s post pregnancy experience, “And after you was born she took to rinkin’ likker and stayin’ out nights.
Couldn’t git her to stay here and nowhere else. Lawd knows where she is right now. ” With Leafy’s loss of innocence came the loss of layaway and reliance on Nanny as a care provider. Considering all the sacrifices Nanny has made in the past from deciding not to get married, to running away from a plantation, one would assume that Leafy may feel slightly in debt to her mother. Leafy believed otherwise. She seemed to forgot about all her mom had done for her in the past, and instead, focuses solely on the fact that his one time Nanny was not there to protect her.
Through the help of colloquial language the author is able to convey the temporary effects of an individual’s sacrifices. able to aid in the understanding of one’s relationships and unveil the underlying reasoning behind the sacrifice of sentimental objects. Select passages from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried hints to the fact that after a raid, killing and injuring a few of Jimmy Cross’s troop members as a result of him not being nearly as attentive as he should have been, Cross must find a solution that will allow him to regain his focus.
On the morning after Ted Lavender died, First Lieutenant Jimmy Diction is Cross crouched at the bottom of his foxhole and burned Martha’s letters” (O? Brien 25). O’Brien uses disheartening diction such as “foxhole,”and “burned” to recreate the tragic and somewhat depressing scenery of a man permanently destroying the only possession of sentimental value to him while in an a hole used for protection from gun-fire.
Due to the unfortunate string of events that is emphasized with the help of cleverly chosen diction, the reader is able to understand the the depth f the the sacrifice that Jimmy Cross makes. By giving up his one connection to the outside world and his one main source of happiness in such a horrendous setting, Cross is revealing that he feels at though his troop is more important to him than anything else at that particular moment in time.
It can also be seen as equivalent to him swearing that Martha’s presence will no longer distract him. Ultimately, Cross’s altruistic act reveals the relationship that exists between him and his troop. With the help of rhetorical devices such as selective diction, colloquial anguage, telegraphic sentences, and epiphanies, sacrifices made by individuals have the ability to be dissected and evaluated so that the depth of a relationship may be revealed.
Although each of the examples used stem from four different pieces and four different authors, they are all similar in that they rely on personal sacrifice to define the type of relationship that exists between two individuals, or and individual and a group of people. The amount of care that one possesses for others can be determined only through the sacrifices that particular individual is willing to make.