Style of language

The language of the short story “Tony’s Story” by Leslie Marmon Silko is casual and conversational. The vocabulary consists of common words and phrases. The narrative is mixed with dialogue. 

The author uses several words associated with Native Americans, such as “pueblo” (p. 175, l. 18), “Corn Dance” (p. 175, l. 15), or “paddy wagon” (p. 176, l. 13). These words give more authenticity to the story.

The narrative uses vivid imagery to paint a clear and detailed picture of the setting and helps create the atmosphere. For instance: 

The sky was hot and empty. The half-grown tumbleweeds were dried up flat and brown beside the highway, and across the valley heat shimmered above wilted fields of corn. Even the mountains high beyond the pale sandrock mesas were dusty blue. (p. 177, ll. 7-10).

The atmosphere created by this description is one of emptiness and desolation. It is a place where one feels vulnerable and exposed, with nowhere to hide, which resonates with Tony’s thoughts and feelings about their situation: “ ‘There’s no place left to hide. It follows us every-where.’ ” (p. 180, l. 28)

The dialogue expresses the characters’ anxieties and frustrations at the cop’s actions, giving the story a realistic feel. For i...

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