Analysis Of The Figures Of Speech Used In A New Perspective By Janice E. Fein

You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a day their shoes. This is the realization that Janice E. Fein describes in her piece, “A New Perspective. ” She uses a medley of imagery, figures of speech, and tone to convey her eventual understanding that her mother was cheated in life, not her. Janice’s uses the subtle details within her writing to transport her reader to a place where they can see a clear picture of her life.

While she describes what seems important to her memory, she gives broader imaginative freedom to the reader allowing them to visualize their own surroundings. In the first paragraph she writes, “I can still feel my left fingers cradled in the smooth grip of her hand. I actually feel the warmth of the rising sun on my face…” (Fein, E. Janice). She doesn’t describe the size of the houses nearby or whether they’re walking alongside a green park or a bustling street corner, but more so allows the reader to picture what they imagine as a typical neighbourhood with Janice and her mother walking hand in hand into the rising warm sun. That memory suddenly becomes more of a long forgotten dream as Janice plunges the reader into the hopelessness realm of her disabled mother. Her lack of empathy towards her mother’s “massive ugly hospital bed” and watching her “muster enough energy to force her hips in an awkward motion” just to “inch the kitchen chair laboriously forward, commanding it to perform the tasks that her frozen arthritic joints could not accomplish” is merely glazed over by the succeeding recollection that her friends never came over to play and that she “had felt cheated”. As quickly as she descended upon the lifeless atmosphere of their house, Janice drops the reader into another (initially) subtle scenario that is Connie’s playroom. Before giving the reader any information about what the room might contain, she simple describes it as, “the best play room in the neighbourhood. The thought of a lifeless hospital-like room is quickly flushed away allowing for the idea of an endless toy ridden paradise to fill the mind. She describes the playroom so easily that you can clearly picture the “wonderful playhouse complete with paneling, carpets and lace curtains”. It isn’t until her last paragraph when she finally discovers a new perspective on her past and tries to imagine all the things she does to her son that her mother couldn’t do to her, “tickled him happy” and “hugged him warm. ”

These physical descriptions clearly articulate the perspective of herself with the reader’s, achieving a coherent depiction of her message of who was really cheated in life. While the use of imagery visually connects the reader with Janice’s writing, her use of metaphors and hyperboles provide a greater sense of creativity and depth into her memories. She references her past as movie clips, “my childhood has become a series of mental snippets of celluloid edited from the long playing film entitled “Cheated in Life”. This is an interesting opening reference about her recollections because she does not state who exactly is the one “cheated”. To add further depth to her recounts, she uses hyperboles like getting to her friend Connie’s house “in a heartbeat” while returning to her own house “at a snail’s pace. ” Even in her attempt to see the full picture, she writes, “I’ve rolled the film a thousand times. . . it took the birth of my first born to truly see the whole picture” meaning that she has thought countless times about her deprived childhood, only to finally realize that it wasn’t what it seemed. Her use of these figures of speech help readers understand the complexity of her life and pave the way for the tone to be easily established. (possibly unnecessary).

The transitions in Janice’s tone throughout her writing pull this piece together to complete her story. The first tonal shift takes place in the second paragraph when she jumps from reminiscing about a cheerful memory with her mother to her “ability to woefully lament, ‘I only remember my mother walking one time in my life. ’” She then continues to take the reader through a remorseful recollection of the resentment and embarrassment she felt towards her mother. This helps to show the reader how Janice truly felt helpless and could not change her circumstance. This is expressed by Janice when she describes “My friends never came to my room to play I remember that bed and chair as embarrassing eyesores and how, once again I had felt cheated”. Upon having her first born child, Janice feels remorse for how she viewed her childhood and growing up with a disabled mother, “it took the birth of my first child to truly see from this perspective, I am not the one who was cheated. ”

Although Janice was unable walk a day in her mother’s shoes, the reader is able to relive the clips of her life through the use of imagery, figure of speech, and tone. Janice E. Fein writes in a very clear and easy way to understand the hard journey she faced growing up and eventually understanding she was not the one that had the hardest time during her childhood.

18 May 2020
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