A syntax analysis remake methodically breaks down the prose passage into individual sentences, then subjects the sentences to a blend of analytical treatments drawn from Richard Lanham and Virginia Tufte. The point of syntax analysis, in this case, is to zero in on structural patterns that typically go unnoticed--patterns in preposition usage, in verb forms, in the locations of subjects, and in the lengths of sentences.

Syntax Analysis

Apply the following variation of Richard Lanham's Paramedic Method.
1. Number each sentence to indicate both paragraph number and sentence number within the paragraph (e.g., 1.1 is paragraph 1, sentence 1).
2. Enclose prepositions in brackets. [of]
3. Enclose "to be" verbs in French braces: {is}
4. Find the action. Underline and italicize it: sell
5. Add a line break between each sentence.
6. In parenthesis, add the word count for each sentence to the end of the sentence.
7. Use slashes to divide each sentence into its basic rhythmic units.
8. On the next line, rewrite the subject and action combination as simply as you can put it, using boldface and angle brackets: <Photographs persuade>. Keep a full line break between each sentence. This is similar to determining the simple sentence, or kernel, keeping with Tufte's four simple sentence types.
9. Identify the short sentence type from Tufte's four types. Note it after the subject-action line, e.g.: Type: equations with be

Partial example to illustrate
Para. 1
1.1 [Of] course the trickiest contradiction/ Whole Foods attempts to reconcile {is}/ the one [between] the industrialization/ [of] the organic food industry/ [of] which it {is} a part/ and the pastoral ideals/ [on] which that industry has been built. (38)
<Whole Foods contradicts ideals>
Short sentence type: transitive (subject contradicts direct object)

1.2 The organic movement,/ [as] it {was} once called,/ has come a remarkably long way/ [in] the last thirty years,/ [to] the point where/ it now looks considerably less like a movement/ than a big business. (35)
<Organic movement evolved>
Short sentence type: intransitive (no direct object)

1.3 Lining the walls/ [above] the sumptuously stocked produce section/ [in] my Whole Foods/ {are} full-color photographs/ [of] local organic farmers/ accompanied [by] text blocks/ setting forth their farming philosophies. (29)
<Photographs line walls>
Short sentence types: transitive (subjects line walls)

1.4 A handful [of] these farms/--Capay {is} one example/--still sell their produce/ [to] Whole Foods/, but most {are} long gone/ [from] the produce bins/, if not yet the walls. (30)
Compound (two kernels): <Farms sell produce> and <most are gone>
Short sentence type: transitive (subects sell direct object) and equations with be (subject are ___)

Syntax Analysis Remake Note

Pollan's sentences are long and complex, loaded with modifiers, branching clauses, and prepositional phrases. According to Lanham, the recurrence of these patterns can put a strain on readers. Yet, in the passage from The Omnivore's Dilemma, the sentences seem to deliberately reiterate and restate the way we would expect from the rhetorical trope, periphrasis. Looking at the verbs, we see only a few transitive cases. This passage is centrally about how produce moves from farms to store shelves and how Pollan, after shopping in a Whole Foods, is more deeply mindful of the conflicted nature of industrial organic corporations. Pollan's usage of parenthetical statements creates an impression that he is working with so much material that he simply cannot leave anything out. His syntactic complexity works, weaving together a strong impression of cohesion. None of the twelve sentences in this passage qualify as what Virginia Tufte would strictly identify as a short sentence, but their lengths are sufficiently varied for texture and emphasis.