Style of language

The language in the short story “Child of God” by Genevieve Abravanel is informal and casual, which mirrors the natural way of speaking. 

The style of language in the text includes a lot of short sentences, which can be seen from the first paragraph: “I was drunk. I mean, not usually. Not on a weekday. But that night, Bill had been out with Petra and then he’d texted me. He wanted to hook up”. The short sentences help to reflect the narrator’s frenzied thoughts.

The dialogue is also informal and fairly short, which shows that the narrator and the family are in an uncomfortable situation where they do not know what to say to each other:

‘Amos liked to milk,’ said the mother. 

I nodded. 

‘He liked cows, especially Greta.’

A blonde girl looked up. […] ‘She’s a sturdy cow,’ the girl told me.

We also see that it is the family that reaches out to the narrator, while the narrator does not know how she should react in this situation.


When she is driving, the narrator says the cars on the winding roads are “like a rollercoaster” and that they “just come out of nowhere, their beams sweeping like sudden ghosts”. These similes highlight the way the winding roads can hide unseen o...

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