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Please give me suggestions about how to improve this memoir.As we settled in my Dad’s...

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rainbow224 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted September 18, 2012 at 10:29 AM via web

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Please give me suggestions about how to improve this memoir.

As we settled in my Dad’s car and put on our seat belts, which was something new to me, I turned down the backseat window. The moist air tingled against my skin, and I breathed it in.  Warm wind hit my face as we zoomed onto the highway. Car lanes were organised; cars stopped when they had to, drove when it was their turn. No one seemed to break the rules; no one was pressing the horn every two seconds, no one was careless. The roads were as smooth as a bowling-green, and we swung along over the roads, up hills and down hills. The sky was the most perfect azure, without a cloud, and an atmosphere so pure. The trees wavered in the wind, leafs fluttered to the ground and flourishing flowers danced in the slight breeze of the scorching afternoon. Oh, this country is a paradise utterly beautiful my dreams wouldn’t picture such world.  

I felt as free as the wind blows, as free as the grass grows. I was looking at a world so different compared to the one I grew up in. Nothing was the same. I knew that some time would have to pass before I had a sense of belonging, but a part of me had already fallen in love with this country, Australia: a place where I can see my dreams of the future coming to pass. It is a place where danger won’t be seen in every corner I turn to. 


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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 18, 2012 at 10:59 AM (Answer #1)

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I get the contrast you are drawing and this makes sense.  If I were to offer up a suggestion, I believe that it would reside in bringing out the lush greenery of Australia with the arid conditions of Iraq.  I think that there is a way to amplify both in the conditions of one another.  If you wanted to make one superior to another, you could do so.  Yet, I think that in contrasting the desert winds, the sand, and the heat of Iraq with the lushness you experience in Australia, both come alive in the mind of the reader.  This would also fit the idea that the person who is living in one setting over another is in a type of "dual consciousness" where the mind is constantly going back to one over another.  I think that this would be good to bring out because it helps to illuminate the complex nature of the individual who is transplanted from one place to another and how consciousness is divided between where we are and where we have been.  In bringing out the contrasts in both climates, the memoir moves closer to accomplishing this divided state of the individual and helps to establish the complexity in both the narrative and its effect on the reader.


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