Diction is the author’s choice and use of words in a literary work. It encompasses the author’s style of writing and their selection of words, phrases, and expressions that convey a particular tone or mood. Diction can be formal or informal, abstract or concrete, technical or colloquial, and it can have a significant impact on the reader’s interpretation of the work. An author’s diction can reflect their purpose, audience, and the message they are trying to convey.
Examples of diction:
In Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” the author uses simple, straightforward diction to convey the struggle and perseverance of the protagonist.
In Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” the author uses vivid, descriptive diction to evoke the emotional intensity and trauma of the characters.
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” the author uses elevated and ornate diction to create a sense of grandeur and glamour that characterizes the world of the wealthy elite.
In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” the author uses archaic and poetic diction to evoke the grandeur and tragedy of the characters and their fates.
In J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” the author uses informal and colloquial diction to create a sense of authenticity and realism in the voice of the protagonist.