LIT 260 Discussion Board #6—Narration / Rhetorical Strategies in Otsuka’s When t

by | Oct 11, 2021 | Literature | 0 comments

LIT 260 Discussion Board #6—Narration / Rhetorical Strategies in Otsuka’s When the Emperor was Divine
In two separate paragraphs respond to topic A and topic B.
A. We continue with a third-person narrator in the third chapter (“When the Emperor Was Divine”) and this narrator is omniscient in terms of the thoughts and feelings of the mother, the boy, and the girl. However, we also hear another voice—one that intrudes with a perspective that is different from that of the main narrator. We hear this voice, for example, on the first page (49): “For it was true, they all looked alike. Black hair. Slanted eyes. High cheekbones. Thick glasses. Thin lips. Bad teeth. Unknowable. Inscrutable.”
We hear it again on page 87:
“I predge arregiance to the frag…
Whatsamalla, Shorty?
Solly. So so solly.”
Whose perspective does this intruding voice represent and what purpose does it serve? Do you find it elsewhere in this chapter of the novel?
B. When the Emperor was Divine is arguably a novel of purpose: It not only seeks to enlighten and entertain; it seeks to encourage thought and provoke action. One of the strategies Otsuka uses to achieve her purpose is pathos: an appeal to the reader’s emotions—often to cause them to feel pity and / or sympathy for a character. For example, we find this strategy used when the boy takes his father’s shoes out of the suitcase: he “slipped them over his hands and pressed his fingers into the smooth oval depressions left by his father’s toes and then he closed his eyes and sniffed the tips of his fingers” (67).
Find two more examples of the use of pathos in this chapter. Quote them and analyze how / why they might appeal to the reader’s emotions and encourage thought. Be sure to identify the situation and the speaker (or the character whose thoughts the passage represents).


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