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How can I improve this epistolary narrative based on The Lady of Shalott by Alfred,...

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rainbow224 | Student, Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:22 PM via web

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How can I improve this epistolary narrative based on The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson?

Part 1 of letter: 

14 May 1453

Dear father,

After regaining my memory, I have decided to write a letter to you.  Like a bird, I have been imprisoned in this tower, suffocated and tormented from my endless thoughts that run by day and night. A seemingly slow torture, I have endured it all those years, waiting. I am praying that you show mercy towards your own daughter as I have not committed any sins other than being a daughter of a sinner. In hope for you to realize that I was not the sinner myself, I waited patiently.

As the bright, blinding sun leisurely rises above the horizon, casting welcome shadows upon the earth, a light fog hovers gently just above the foliage as the sunlight penetrates its almost transparent existence. We all began the day with our normal routines and as I was young I had gleefully played along with other children my age, enjoying freedom as the day went by. Only little chores and simple tasks were required and so I was always willingly to do them. I could not have imagines our family nor or lives to be happier than what it was. 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:20 PM (Answer #1)

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The letter could be improved by adding a couple of sentences that appeal directly to the father and add more specific language.

You have done a good job of using language similar to the poem.  However, if Lady Shallot really wants her father to listen to her, you might want to be more persuasive.  Throw him a bone, so to speak.  Instead of starting out angry, you can perhaps show how she can understand why she is where she is.  It is not all bad, because she can still use her mirror.

But in her web she still delights

To weave the mirror's magic sights

Also, you will want to consider how you create your sentences.  The sentences sometimes lack some flow.  An example is this sentence.

In hope for you to realize that I was not the sinner myself, I waited patiently.

It could be reversed.

I waited patiently for you to realize that I was not the sinner myself.

This adds variety to your sentences, and also makes the sentence more direct and clear.  This will also add to the emotional impact of the poem by changing the tone in certain places.

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