This paragraph was originally longer than it looks now.
31/08/2011 § 1 Comment
How do the characters come of age?
In the short story The Boat, the characters who come of age do their best to ignore the scorn from certain characters and pursue the things they want to do in their lives with support from other characters. The character that shows the most contempt and disapproval towards the sisters’ and boy’s dreams is their overly traditional mother. “…without theological aid, ‘I would like to know how books help anyone to live a life.’” (p. 10) She is the brick wall that keeps the sisters and boy from pursuing an academic and educational dream that kept up with the changing world. “…‘I don’t know what’s the matter with my girls. It seems none of them are interested in any of the right things.’” (p. 11) She even verbally attacks her husband, blaming him about the decisions her daughters were making: “‘Well, I hope you’ll be satisfied when they come home knocked up and you’ll have had your way.’” (p. 11) The sisters, however, refuse to succumb to any of her torments and continue to meet new people and experience new things that their mother disapproves of: “Each year another of my sisters would read the books and work in the restaurant,” (p. 15) which is exactly what their mother doesn’t want them to be doing. They find the strength to disobey their mother’s wishes because of the faith their father has in them, “Sometimes they would talk to him a long time, the murmur of their voices blending with the music of the radio…” (p. 15). Eventually, the sisters part ways with their families, still maintaining contact, but dispersing around America. The boy eventually finds his own way, after his father’s death, pursuing a career he wants to take up, not something his uptight mother wants him to do. Like his sisters before him, he ignores his mother’s overwhelming discouragement and, perhaps partially in honour of his father, follows the dream he originally set out for himself.
Self-assessed grade for the original paragraph, with some notes after the changes
A: 7 – The paragraph shows some literary features (inserting a quote within a sentence) and uses a pretty wide range of vocabulary but doesn’t use it effectively enough to imprint the message/theme of the paragraph into the reader’s mind. It demonstrates a good understanding of The Boat but not yet an in-depth understanding. There are lots of relevant details and explanations that explain the statement. The language was (originally) very wordy and sometimes confusing but after an edit, it sounds clearer and less complicated.
B: 8 – After getting a little bit of feedback, I was able to fix the paragraph and better it. The paragraph is written in a rather sophisticated and serious matter, maintaining formality. Sometimes it isn’t organized and clear but does try to follow a general idea.
C: 9 – The original paragraph had a few grammatical/wording errors that confused the readers. It does use a register that is sophisticated and matches the subject of the paragraph. There are rarely any grammatical errors and only a few tense errors. The paragraph also demonstrates a wide and rather appropriate range of vocabulary.