Dialect of Modern Writing

Heart of Darkness (1899): Conrad distinguishes race and critiques imperialism with dialect.

“Melanctha” (1909): Stein experiments with dialect to emphasize how things are said and what is left unsaid.

As I Lay Dying (1930): Faulkner’s use of dialect to emphasize regionalism in the United States.

Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937): As part of the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston uses black dialect to represent black life.

These four works use dialect for different purposes. Over the course of time that these works were written, dialect moves from emphasizing a point to representing different lifestyles. Dialect in Heart of Darkness is a point of shame, whereas dialect in Their Eyes Were Watching God is a source of pride.

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