Language

Style of language

The language in the short story “William Wilson” by Edgar Allan Poe is formal. The narration does not use slang or contractions and the sentences are generally long and flowery. For instance: 

In truth, it was a dream-like and spirit-quieting place, that old town. At this moment I seem to feel the pleasant coolness under the shade of the trees, I remember the sweetness of the flowers, I hear again with delight I cannot explain the deep sound of the church bell each hour breaking the stillness of the day (p. 7, ll. 8-13). 

At the beginning of the story, the narrator uses direct address, for instance: “Listen while I tell of the one cause that made it happen” (p. 6, ll. 11-12). This creates the impression of William confessing to the reader. There are also several rhetorical questions: “Have not the winds carried my name with my loss of honor, to the ends of the earth? Am I not forever dea...

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