Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » English Essay on “The Style is the Man” complete Paragraph and Speech for School, College Students, essay for Class 8, 9, 10, 12 and Graduation Classes.

English Essay on “The Style is the Man” complete Paragraph and Speech for School, College Students, essay for Class 8, 9, 10, 12 and Graduation Classes.

The Style is the Man

Style means manner. A cricketer’s style is the manner in which he bats or bowls. When we speak of a speaker’s style as being eloquent or humdrum, we mean that he speaks in an eloquent or in a humdrum way. So literary style is simply manner of writing ; and the style of an author is simply his manner of writing – his own peculiar way of expressing his thoughts in words.

Every distinguished writer has a style of his own; for style is a personal matter. No two people are exactly alike; so when a man speaks or writes, he expresses himself, and no one else. This is what the French writer, Buffon, meant when he said, “Le style, c’est I’homme.” – “The style is the man.” “A writer’s style is as distinctive as his walk, his mode of dress or his personal habits – and, we may add, his handwriting. A hundred boys may learn to write from the same copybook in the same school; yet in the end they will write so diversely that it will not require a handwriting expert to tell the difference between them. For example, Thomas Carlyle’s style was rugged because Carlyle himself was a rugged character; and the even-tempered and clear-headed Addison naturally wrote in a smooth, lucid and equable manner.

A firm grasp of this truth will save young writers from slipping into two fatal errors. One is the mistaken idea that style is something added to plain writing by way of ornament. Young writers too often think that, to give their com-positions “style”, they must decorate them with eloquent phrases, ornate metaphors, flowery language and other flourishes. This is all wrong. It is like plastering the natural face with paint and powder. The first rule for the formation of a writer’s style is that he must be himself.

The other mistake is mimicry – trying to imitate the style of some great writer. For two reasons this is a mistake. First, because it cannot be done. You may learn to parody the styles of Lamb, Carlyle, Macaulay or Stevenson, but you will capture only their mannerisms, while missing their essential qualities. Secondly, because adopting another man’s style is like wearing another man’s clothes. They will neither fit nor suit you. Your style must be the natural expression of your own, not of another’s, personality. By all means study the styles of good authors, for you should know not only what a good writer says, but also how he says it. But study that, not in order to mimic his method of self-expression, but to learn better how to express yourself.


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