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VERBAL IRONY - SARCASM
Posted by: Jennifer Herrera
Source: Denby, David. “High School Confidential: Notes on Teen Movies.” The New
Yorker. 31 May 1999. Print.
Example: “The enemy is not authority; the enemy is other teens and the social system that they impose on one another.” (Denby 711)
“Her loneliness is produced not by malicious cliques but by her own implacable will” (Denby 714)
Analysis: In “High-School Confidential: Notes on Teen Movies” David Denby discusses the clichés that surround almost every teenage pop movie; carefully pointing out for his reader who those clichés included and what are the effects as well as the realities of these movies for the teenagers that don’t live their lives on the big screen. Denby uses many rhetorical strategies to support his opinions; and one of those is zeugma. When Denby starts to speak about the roles of authority figures in these types of movies (which are virtually non-existent) he cleverly uses zeugma when he writes, “The enemy is not authority; the enemy is other teens and the social system that they impose on one another.” (Denby 711) This helps the author to reflect his analysis of how adults are falsely depicted in these movies as the enemies and where to place the real blame that drives this idea to normal teenagers’ mind. With out this zeugma it would take a lot more words to convey this simple, to the point yet creative analysis that still makes you think big with fewer words.
Another example of zeugmas use in this essay is when Denby finally critics a movies called “Election”, sharing his thoughts on the out come of the struggling protagonist, whom never wins anybody’s love, “Her loneliness is produced not by malicious clichés but by her own implacable will” (Denby 714) This let the reader know that the blame for the protagonist loneliness is a direct result of her own choice not; by the clichés that are her circumstance. The use of these little power packed zeugmas inspires the reader to scratch the surface of obvious and see another point of view they would have never guesses laid in front of them. This zeugma particularly allowed me to see that the clichéd destiny chosen by the protagonist shouldn’t limit our minds (in reality) to that only ending; but to instead ignore that and broaden our minds to more alternate endings and choices, that are not found at the end of Hollywood movie but by us.
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