An analysis of the fight between Emile Griffith and Benny Paret.
There are few things more emotionally involving than sporting events. You cheer for the team you support and pour yourself into them, hanging all your hopes on their victory, and if they fail, you’re crushed. The writer of the article is an exquisite author, summoning up the fight and making one feel as though he were really there with the author at the time of the fight. He causes us to invest our emotions in the fight as well, no matter our age or background. Through the use of not only diction, but syntax and figurative language, the author transports the reader to the night of the fight. The author shows us that the emotions of all present the night of the fight were affected, shows the reader the sick ferocity, and allows the reader to witness a terrible act. Through diction, syntax, and figurative language, the author paints a picture of the night.
Throughout the article, the author uses diction to his advantage. He says “over the referee’s face came a look of woe” when describing the reaction to Griffith’s attack. This is infinitely more powerful than just saying “he looked sad,” as so many writers do. When describing Paret’s death, he says a small “half-smile of regret” crossed Parent’s lips, communicating clearly to the reader that Paret knew he was dying, and his last thoughts were of how he disappointed his fans. The author describes the noise Griffith makes while attacking as “a pent-up whimpering sound,” expressing clearly there is something inside Griffith, trying to burst out. The writer uses syntax to slow events and halt time at points in his article, but uses it to snap the reader forward at other points. He uses several sentences to describe Griffith’s final attack, and then shocks the reader by revealing it was “an act which took perhaps three or four seconds.” The author stops time with his more lengthy sentences, and pulls the reader back into the present with short, abrupt sentences, such as “Griffith was uncontrollable,” or “Paret died on his feet.” Figurative language is another tool that the author takes advantage of, using it to communicate to the reader. He describes Griffith’s punches to Paret’s head like “a baseball bat demolishing a pumpkin,” or compares them to “a heavy ax in the distance chopping into a wet log.” These phrases not only increase the level of enjoyment the reader receives from the work, but also conveys the savagery that filled Griffith. It shows that Griffith was fighting not to win, but to kill. Griffith’s approach towards the trapped Paret is compared to “a cat ready to rip the life out of a huge boxed rat.” This communicates that Griffith was a predator, and Paret his prey. When Paret dies, the author states that “death came to breathe on him,” showing that, although it was a violent event, it was not a violent death.
The reader gains a great deal of knowledge from the writer of this article, and would have received far less if the author hadn’t used diction, syntax, and figurative writing the way he has. The monstrosity that occurred in Madison Square Garden that night was conveyed flawlessly to the reader, and it would not have been shown nearly as well had the author chose not to use the tools he had.