Harangue (noun)

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  1. A speech addressed to a public assembly
  2. A ranting speech or writing
  3. Lecture.

(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 17 June 2020)

Use it in a sentence

[Note that this is the noun harangue, and not the verb harangue.]

It was meant to be a brief and warm welcome to the newcomers. But from Celeste it was a harangue – a long and rambling speech that loitered too long on the history of The Retreat, how it came to be in the first place, and why they were lucky to be permitted entry. The men, in any case, already knew the purpose of The Retreat and they sat cowed, some of them afraid for the first time in their lives. They were there because they’d been captured and deemed suitable for reprogramming, as opposed to extermination. Men were generally defunct these days, but they were still needed for procreation. For now.

They anticipated the beatings and the brainwashing. The Extractions. What they didn’t yet know about were the Purgings, how they’d be force fed lumps of sugar smeared with lard, nuggets of grit deep fried in month-old fish oil, doughy biscuits dusted with chilli – all washed down with castor oil so that they threw up everything but their organs. The practice, only one in a suite of reprogramming activities that lasted several days, served to purify the men – to stuff them to the gills with the defiling richness of their old life, and then to expel the poison and start anew. Most of them were too fat anyway. They would need to become lean and bony, and to suffer hunger – just like the women of the old times. Celeste was not happy until she could count the ribs on a new recruit. “You could be a so-called supermodel now,” she’d mock them. “A regular Victoria’s Secret model. Are you happy now?” she’d sneer.

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