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Use of Language in 'Waiting for Lefty'

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Use of Language in 'Waiting for Lefty' Clifford Odet used a wide range of language techniques to convey the differences between the different characters, the relationships between the different characters, and the attitudes of individual characters. The language that the characters use in the play tells us about their personal details, such a what 'class' they belong to and whether they were educated or not. From looking at the character of 'Joe' we see that he is of working class and not particularly well educated. We know this as he uses a great deal of colloquialism in his speech, 'pulluckas'. Also by looking at the language used in the text we see how Odets has tried to convey to the actors how to say certain line. ...read more.


Another reason why Odets has chosen to use language like the above is to add an essence of realism to his play. He wanted to make sure that real people (working classes) could relate to the message that he was conveying in his play so therefore he needed to speak their language. Use of such language would have been good to get the audience on a characters side and round to their way of thinking. It would have made the working class audience at home with the characters. Odets also liked to use 'Similes'. 'Fatt' was just but one character that spoke a lot of rhetoric language. ...read more.


It allowed the audience to think more deeply about what was actually being said without being to taxing on their brains. The use of racist language also shows us the ignorant attitudes of many people back in the 1920's. It is also only the rich, upper class, pompous characters that the audience are supposed to unlike, that use racist language. Perhaps in Clifford Odets cries for a more equal society he was also quietly calling for the liberation and equal rights of blacks and Jews. In conclusion I think that the colloquial language that Odets used ensured a popular contemporary audience whilst the rhetoric language allowed for a more educated audience member to break down underlying meanings behind the text. I have found Odets use of language both appropriate and well thought out in this play. Adam Small 28/04/2007 ...read more.

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