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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 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:53 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 2 of letter:

After years, the lies, the illusions and the tricks of my mother were all uncovered and exposed. Mother’s illusions and fraudulent wiles led men to their demise, you nearly being among one of them. She was a woman who loved not chastity:

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted May 30, 2013 at 3:00 PM (Answer #1)

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The first problem with this is that you need to look up the meaning of "illusions." Do you really mean that the mother had false beliefs and "tricks" or used magic as well as "tricks"? If one of these is truly what you mean, then you need to make it more clear, though you risk changing your cadence (prose rhythm), or select a word that reflects what you actually mean, which I suspect might actually be expressed by "pretense" "deception" or "delusion." Look these up (I suggest Longam Dictionary for this) to determine what you actually mean to say and which word actually expresses it. Below are some other sentence level errors.

word choice
look up "demolished"
a true noble knight cannot be demolished

collocation errors (use Longman Dictionary)
look up "chance"
no chances of escaping
look up "understanding"
I still cannot come to an understanding.
look up "reflected"
reflected of a mirror

tense switch, needs tense agreement
Her sins were punished, ... Darkness and nothing more would have filled her eyes

punctuation
walls. No ...: dramatic effect still requires the correct punctuation of a colon

I'd suggest using a simple Object instead of an adjectival that-clause; and "she" is required as the subject case in "than she [is]":
As a daughter of a sinner, you believed that I am no better than her.
suggested change to: you believed me no better than she.

punctuation [comma] missing
You believed, with no evidence, just mere thoughts that there was no doubt of me

anomalous, and wrong word choice: you can't "hold" a perspective in your eyes (look up "perspective"), and "perspective" is contemporary
holds a different perspective in your eyes

tense switch, requires tense agreement (agreement of one tense or the other)
The entire world is in motion ... Time moved differently ... minute stretched ... I could bear ... I only found

These should help you sort this out a bit better and find other examples of (1) wrong collocations (look words up); (2) tense disagreement; (3) wrong word choice (look words up); and (4) anomalous expressions.

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