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Meagan's Portfolio

Analyzing a Short Story/Poem
Title Page
Analyzing a Short Story
Research Paper
Table of Contents
Reflection on Growth in 10th Grade English Class
Introduction to ESLR's Section
Tennis Certificate
Chapter 12 Test
History Project
Chemistry Lab
Spanish Test
Community Service
School Involvement Reflection
Fluorine Poster
Yearbook Layout
List of Readings
Personal Reflection
Community Service Reflection
Biographical Narrative
Persuasive Essay

          Cisneros’ unique way of writing is prominent in her short story, "Geraldo No Last Name." The short story contains long and short sentences. It has simple words and she includes foreign words from the nearby country of Mexico. As the story draws on, the feeling of being lost, confused, and sad is being transferred to the reader. Cisneros achieves the effect of a sad, somber tone in "Geraldo No Last Name" by the choice of words she uses, simple diction.

          In the first paragraph, readers can already recognize Cisneros’ unique way of embedding short sentences with long sentences. The short sentences may still have the same effect as a long one because Cisneros chooses words that give an impression. When the narrator names the places Marin, a main character, goes to dance, "Uptown. Logan. Embassy. Palmer. Aragon. Fontana. The manor" the audience can distinguish that Marin likes to dance in nice places and that Marin herself may be wealthy. By the second paragraph, Cisneros uses, "No address. No name. Nothing in his pockets. Ain’t that a shame" to give the readers the tone of a dismal person. The man Marin meets is a nobody and we can achieve this by the choice of words she uses to display that he had nothing and it was a shame that he had nothing and was a nothing.

          By the third paragraph, Cisneros is able to generate a tone or feeling of anxiety. Cisneros uses simple words that would also run through reader’s minds if in that same situation. Her choice of words is relative and therefore readers are able to receive the tone she wants to build. In a sentence such as, "And maybe if the surgeon would’ve come, maybe if he hadn’t lost so much blood, if the surgeon had only come, they would know who to notify and where," contains a system of words that gives the feeling of a run on thought with a feeling of lost hope and regret.

          Towards the end of the short story, Cisneros starts describing Geraldo with no last name and she passes along to readers another tone of dejection. Her choice of words such as "brazer" or "wetback" degrades his image and again makes him appear as worthless and non-important. Cisneros uses simple words in her last paragraph to illustrate how simple this man is and it makes readers wonder, why did Marin even care?

          Cisneros' "Geraldo No Last Name" is a prime example of how carefully she chooses her words to establish a tone of lament, somber, and grief. She is able to use short sentences because her choice of words is effective in sharing her message. Her choice of words is also relative because they are something we would use. By the end of the short story, the tone has reached grief and sadness. Cisneros achieves the effect of a sad, somber tone in "Geraldo No Last Name" by using the stylistic device of simple diction.

          Analyzing a short story or poem started as a timed write, but then we were expected to redo the essay and type the revised version. The short story was on Cisneros’ "Geraldo No Last Name" and we were to analyze her way of writing and I chose diction. I learned from this assignment was that in order to analyze a story, you have to read deeper and take notice of the symbols of the story and not take everything literally. I liked the fact that we were able to use the analyzing skills we learned in class first hand. What I did not like was the fact that I really could not point my finger on one writing stylistic device and I ended up, like always, talking in a huge circle around my point. In the future I would read the story more carefully and not take every word I read iterally because that is not the right way of reading literature.

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