Rhetorical devices


“Living With Strangers” is not a text overflowing with rhetorical devices, but Siri Hustvedt does use a bit of antithesis to outline contrasting scenarios. The first example is the title of the text itself, because how can you live with strangers? Normally we would prefer to live with our friends, family, or partner. So, by placing those two words opposite each other in the title, the writer hints at the dilemma which is central to her essay: How do we go about living so close to so many strangers as we do in big cities on a daily basis?

The second example of antithesis is in the introduction part of the essay where Hustvedt creates a sharp contrast between her rural Minnesota childhood where everyone would greet one another and the hectic city existence of her adult life where you ignore the people you pass when moving around in the city (ll. 1-20). By using antithesis, the writer makes sure that the readers understand the topic of the text and the dilemma which is part of that topic.


Hustvedt appears to be fond of the device called tricolon, which means mentioning things in threes. Already in l....

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