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Analyzing "Tortillas" by Jose

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Jannetta Robinson

on 11 September 2014

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Transcript of Analyzing "Tortillas" by Jose

Analyzing Tortillas by Jose Antonio Burciaga
Descriptive
Definition: Shows the details or creates an impression of something, giving enough examples to paint a picture in your head. Ex: adjectives
Idiom
-Paragraph six, "Even a
run-of-the-mill

tortilla
is more than a flat corn cake."
Onomatopoeia
Definition: The formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named
Sentence Study
Throughout the whole essay the sentences were medium length with a few short length sentences to spice it up. I believe this was best for the essay because the sentences aren't too long but long enough to have a fair amount of details and it's easy to read. Also, the short length sentences give you a brake from the medium ones and emphasis's the text.
Jannetta Robinson
What Exactly Are We Analyzing?
The main idea Jose is trying to convey is why tortillas are important to him.
And throughout the text we will see that he explains this by telling us of it's historical importance, it's a big part of his culture, and it's many uses.
Exemplification
Modes
Definition: An essay that identifies a topic and gives an extended example or examples of it. Ex: facts, anecdotes, and other specific information.
Exemplification was used in paragraph two explaining how tortillas were useful, "served as the spoon and the fork, the plate and the napkin."
-He uses an anecdote telling the story of how they originated.
-He uses an anecdote in paragraph six, telling the story of how the woman who found the image of Jesus Christ on her husband's tortilla.
The writer conveyed his idea well while using this mode. It helped with sequencing, making his story from past to present sort of. Paragraph 2 was historical. Paragraph 3 and 4 was cultural, 5 and 6 were spiritual and artistic. This mode made the tone more positive, you could tell tortillas are important to Jose. It made the mood more funny and warm.
-Paragraph four, "I could hear the

rhythmic
slapping of the
masa
"
-"the
skilled
vendors outside the factory formed it into balls, and patted them into
perfectly
round corn cakes."
-In the beginning of paragraph four, " ancient adobe building"
-"
warm
wicker baskets"
"the
tender
slaps that give each tortilla character"
This mode was very effective. It made his persona light and carefree. It made the tone positive and the mood was very warm and homey, It was obvious that culture played a big part in Jose's life and that tortillas was a big part in his culture.
Modes
Definition: Common phrase or term whose meaning is not literal, but can be understood by their popular use.
"Run-of-the-mill" isn't literally the mill running the tortilla. It means common or ordinary. Jose means even an ordinary tortilla is better than a flat corn cake.
Figurative Language
-Paragraph four, "the tender
slaps
that give each torilla character."
-Paragraph five, "..how to make delicious,
crunchy
taquitos..."
A slap is written like it sounds in real life. When you hear something crunchy it sounds like a crunch, so this is also written like it sounds in real life.
syntax, nuance, and context
syntax, nuance, and context
Word Study
"Sometimes I wore a
tortilla
on my head, like a
yarmulke
, and yet I never had any great urge to convert from Catholicism to Judaism. But who knows? They may be right."
Most of the essay contains front loaded sentences but there are some occasional end loaded sentences.
"In the mercada where my mother shopped, we frequently bought taquitos de nopalitas, small tacos filled with diced cactus, onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos"
"The best thing that can be said about mass-producing tortillas is that it makes it possible for many people to enjoy them"
"The wonderful
aroma
and the speed with which the women counted so many dozens of
tortillas
out of the warm wicker baskets still linger in my mind."
The word "aroma" really catches my eye. It sounds pleasing to the ears and really fits in with the sentence. Jose could have just said "the good smelling tortillas" but he used the word aroma to make his piece stand out a little more.
"The
versatility
of tortillas and corn does not end here."
I had to look up the word versatility to make sure I understood it. Although, I did guess the meaning right, it's a fairly hard word and it makes you think about all of the uses of a tortilla. This is in the second to last paragraph and I believe that Jose couldn't have used a better word. Talking about the many uses of a tortilla while still piling on a little bit more uses is what makes this piece unique. It's almost like the cherry on top.
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