Distinctive Voices Essay

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Distinctive voices are part of our everyday life and can be expressed in many ways. This is not always projected through speech and language. It can be intrinsic and is inherent in any text. Composers use elements and characteristics of language to create voice in their texts to shape meaning and affect interpretation of the audience. This is demonstrated by the composers of the following texts, “The life and Crimes of Harry Lavender” composed by Marele Day, and film Miss Congeniality directed by Donald Petrie. Persona Claudia Valentine uses distinct elements and characteristics of language to create subversion of conventional American crime fiction. Claudia’s voice creates a more feminized contemporary genre style, which alters the audience’s interpretation of the novel. Claudia is presented as a hard drinking loner replicating the classic 1940’s private investigator lifestyle. However, there is a subversion of the genre stereotype portrayed through Claudia’s gender and her romance with Steve Angell, who she is “drawn magnetically towards” which foreshadows a possible romantic relationship. This subversion is also evident in the maternal tones of Claudia’s voice when she is fearful for her children’s safety, begging her ex-husband to “Keep them safe Gary.” The expression of Claudia’s femininity through elements and characteristics of her language enable the audience to perceive this character as not being a stereotypical, marginalized, impecunious and emotionless conventional American crime fiction detective. However, Claudia’s personal life is juxtaposed by her tough career as a detective; who must expose the social, judicial and political injustices of the crime boss Harry Lavender and in a tone of revenge states “I would get Lavender... for what he’d done to my father… what he was doing to my city.” Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender by Marele Day and film Miss

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