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Because of Winn-Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie


by Kate DiCamillo

Analysis: Writing Style

Childlike; Simple; Conversational

Opal is not a fan of beating around the bush, and since the story is written in her point-of-view, the sentence style reflects that idea. Many sentences are short and matter-of-fact:

The preacher looked down at the mouse. He looked at Winn-Dixie. He looked at me. He rubbed his nose. It got real quiet in the Pick-it-Quick. (5.33)

And Winn-Dixie stood and stared back at her. He didn't hardly move. He didn't wag his tail. He didn't smile. He didn't sneeze. (8.23)

And so I read the first chapter of Gone With the Wind out loud to Gloria Dump. I read it loud enough to keep her ghosts away. And Gloria listened to it good. (18.17)

Yet the voice is that of a ten-year-old, so it also includes its share of rambling, excited-kid-talk sentences:

He shook Gloria Dump's hand and Miss Franny Block's hand and said how pleased he was to meet them both and how he had heard nothing but good things about both of them. (21.14)

But at the same time, I thought of something I had never thought of before; and that was that a list of things couldn't even begin to show somebody the real Winn-Dixie, just like a list of ten things couldn't ever get me to know my mama. (24.18)

And then he crept up on the couch with us in this funny way he has, where he gets on the couch an inch at a time, kind of sliding himself onto it, looking off in a different direction, like it's all happening by accident, like he doesn't intend to get on the couch, but all of a sudden, there he is. (11.23)

Simple and direct, plus excited and rambling: it's just like you and Opal are sharing a porch swing and drinking lemonade while waiting for the storm to roll in. So, pull up a folding lawn chair, a peanut butter sandwich, and settle in for this one.

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