Whereas in “Perfect Days” Barbs the main female character is an extremely independent woman from the start and has worked hard to earn herself her own hairdressers....
Raymond Carver entertains this topic in his poem, "Photograph of My Father in His Twenty-second Year." In this poem Carver provides us with a beautifully touching slice of life that is not only flawless in writing and technique, but that connects and emotionally evokes...
appeals to one of humankind's basic instincts, the impulse to share stories. Sometimes the aim of the story-teller is simply to entertain, to provide a moment of escape from the business of the day or the horrors of the night, but sometimes the aim of the story-teller is to instruct, to help others in their understanding of something. The best part of teaching in this way is that our listeners' natural resistance to heeding the words of others is low and they are not always aware that they are being taught anything until it's too late we've got them.
The skills needed to narrate a story well are not entirely the same as the skills needed to write a good essay. Some wonderful short fiction writers are not particularly good essayists and vice versa. Still, it is useful to look at those elements that make up a good narrative and know how to apply what we learn toward making our essays as dramatic as possible whenever that is appropriate.
My father was raised in the in-between generation, born in the years immediately before the end of World War Two, what they call the “silent generation”.
His children were raised in the sixties and seventies, challenging times for parents with the traps of drug use and , neither of which I believe Dad had been prepared for in the lesson plan his father had given him.
Father’s Day is a day out of the year when kids give their fathers gifts and presents and the one great thing, which is love. Father’s day is only one day, but what about the other 364 days of the year? Do you just sit around and not love your dad? Father’s Day should be every day because fathers give and do a lot to help their kids.
Father’s Day means a lot to me because I can spend a whole 24 hours with my dad! My dad and I might go to the movies, we might play sports, we go to eat, and we might go swimming or even stay at home to watch TV. I am just happy I can spend as much time as possible with my father on this special day.
On the other hand, since my father is the best father in the whole wide world, on Father’s day weekend I go searching for the perfect present. I know my father is going to love whatever I get for him. I have fun every Father’s Day because I get to be with my father.
In conclusion, Father’s Day is the day where I get to spend time and have fun with my dad. My Dad is the best. He’s the reason why Father’s Day is so special for both of us!
Let nouns and verbs do the work of description for you. With nouns, your readers will see; with verbs, they will feel. In the following paragraph, taken from George Orwell's famous anti-imperialist essay, "Shooting an Elephant," see how the act of shooting the elephant delivers immense emotional impact. What adjectives would you expect to find in a paragraph about an elephant? big? grey? loud? enormous? Do you find them here? Watch the verbs, instead. Notice, too, another truth about description: when time is fleeting, slow down the prose. See how long the few seconds of the shooting can take in this paragraph. You can read the entire text of George Orwell's story by clicking , and you can read additional essays by this famous author of and at
Do not forget that the business of the essay is to make a point. In his essay, Orwell succeeds in portraying the horrors of an imperialist state, showing how the relationship between the oppressed Burmese and the British oppressor is dehumanizing to both. When writing a narrative, it is easy to get caught up in the telling of the story and forget that, eventually, our reader is going to ask So What? and there had better be an answer.
Read Jeffrey Tayler's "The Sacred Grove of Oshogbo" (first published in , used with permission) and try to determine exactly at what passage in the text do you become aware of the point of Tayler's essay. Take note of the rich detailing of the forest, the caretaker, and the minister from the city and try to describe how the details lend themselves toward the purpose of the article. Another Atlantic essay, Jeff Biggers' filled with wonderful details of a remote town in Mexico is also available here.
Salinger's short story 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish' is the story of a psychically-torn war veteran whose post-traumatic stress moves him to take his own life while on a second honeymoon with his wife.