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“A Telephone Call” by Dorothy Parker

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In “A Telephone Call” Dorothy Parker uses repetition, tone, and point of view to show obsession and give it a voice. Parker shows the deep feelings of a woman experiencing love. The language used and tone of her writing help keep an unstable feeling throughout the story; although she does a good job on balancing positive and negative thinking in the story. The point of view focuses on the confusing thoughts of the crazy woman.

Parker takes advantage of repetition as a literary tool in “A Telephone Call.” Her use and choice of words continuously help display her theme. The reader assumes that the presence of incomplete or run-on sentences reflects the misleading thoughts of the crazy woman. Repetition is another effect of obsession. The woman repeats the short hopeless phrase “Please, God” numerous times and usually follows it with a short plead for help or some nonsense. The obsessive woman uses aggressive and almost violent language toward the telephone, God, and even the man she adores. Repetition and you can say diction are some important tools that Parker uses to suggest various signs of obsession.

In “A Telephone Call” the tone of the story keeps the reader’s focus on the woman’s obsession. The run-on sentences and short sentences create a fast moving pace. The woman asks God for help, because she can no longer control herself or what she wants. In a sense, the story itself seems out of control. The reader remains clueless listening to her frequently changing thoughts and waiting for some kind of twist in the story. The tone keeps the story on the same unstable level as the woman.

Point of view seems to be the most important literary tool used in the story. “A Telephone Call” has a first person point of view narration. Parker purposely uses this narration to focus on a specific point of view, the woman with the obsession. Hearing the thoughts inside her head, the reader could not be any closer to obsession itself. Throughout the story one tries to connect with the narrator .Most people know how it feels to want something, but few suffer such extreme pain. The reader would never come face to face with obsession without the narration and point of view of the woman. If it wasn’t a first person point of view story I don’t think the reader would have gotten the same message.

In “A Telephone Call” Dorothy Parker’s is to bring obsession to life give it a voice. She accomplishes this by using literary tools that make the theme more obvious to the reader. The choice and arrangement of words shows how the woman’s thoughts are unbalanced and misleading. The tone makes the woman sound hysterical and out of control. And without the point of view of the woman the story would not be as impacting.

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