Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

When I began Hunger of Memory, I was apprehensive about Rodriguez's style, and at first, I felt as though I were learning to read all over again. I remember turning to the first page and daring myself to dislike it. I couldn't imagine reading the entire autobiography under such circumstances.

I glanced at the page. A massive army of short sentences and bold periods glared back. As someone who enjoys the lengthy flow of paragraph-long phrases strung together like rows of tiny Christmas lights with an abundance of commas, semicolons, and hyphens, this style was intimidating. Struggling to grasp its flow, I read aloud. My voice jerked like a car running over a series of speed bumps. As soon as I began to follow, I was stopped by an abrupt period.

After a while, my eyes stopped searching for startling punctuation and misplaced modifiers, my mind switched out of its editing mode, and I began to relax and enjoy Rodriguez's message. My mind sank into the rhythm of his words. I listened to myself repeat one of his sentences. I realized the ­effect his style created: it ­emphasized his voice.

Instead of relaxing and ­enjoying what the author has to say, I'm constantly analyzing the sentence structure of A Bronze Bow, or studying the grammar in Little Women. But in all of my searching and analyzing, I tend to overlook the most important and engaging characteristic in a book: its voice. Rodriguez's style emphasizes his voice, strengthens the content of his message, and ­instills key points in readers' minds. Instead of allowing his voice to be defined by his sentence structure and grammar, he defines it by his voice.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback