Analyzing Oppenheimer's Knifeness

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15. To help the audience better understand the article and Kramer’s experiences, Oppenheimer uses simple and familiar diction, with not too much bladesmithing jargon, descriptive imagery, and direct quotations. When describing Kramer’s workplace, Oppenheimer says, “Tools, thick leather aprons and gloves, dusty old swords, and strips of steel in various stages of knifeness were strewn everywhere.” This quote not only shows descriptive imagery but also Oppenheimer’s distinctive diction. “Knifeness” is not a word, but to a layman, it works. On the other hand, if he had used a jargon term instead, not many people would know what it means, and they would feel confused. “Knifeness” is a little comical and childish, but it helps the reader feel more familiar with their new environment; most people are probably not familiar with bladesmithing. …show more content…
He writes, “In smith-made Damascus, carbon steel and other metals are forged into hundreds of layers, and often mixed throughout the knife the way vanilla and caramel are twisted into saltwater taffy.” This is an example of a metaphor and descriptive imagery. The picture of taffy is fairly common, unlike the steel of Damascus. Therefore, making this detailed comparison helps the reader understand and form a better image in their minds. Lastly, Oppenheimer uses quotes from Kramer and other sources to give their voice directly to the reader. It creates a more person connection to the people that the author writes about. For example, it’s easier to understand the importance of the test to become certified as a Master Smith with a direct rather than the author, someone who has never planned to take the test in his life. Oppenheimer quotes, “’Sleep?’...My whole life in on the line, that’s all.” This quotes more directly shows how everyone is very stressed for the