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Please give me suggestions on how to improve this epistolary narrative based on The...

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rainbow224 | Student, Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted May 28, 2013 at 9:38 PM via web

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Please give me suggestions on how to improve this epistolary narrative based on The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

 

Part 2:

After years, the lies, the illusions and the tricks of my mother were all uncovered and exposed. Mother’s illusions and fraudulent wiles lead men to their demise, my father upon one of them. She was a woman who

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

Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:06 AM (Answer #1)

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This is impressive. You have picked up Tennyson's sense of emotion and cadence very well, though of course your context is all invention, and very clever invention, of a backstory for the Lady of Shallott. Your ideas seem and the cohesion of them seems very clear. As far as content goes, I see no significant changes that need to be made (though of course, I don't know what the specifics of the assignment are).

The only problem I note is that your choice of archaic sounding language and high poetic diction escapes your control here and there. Let's see if we can isolate a few of those spots. In all and over all, though, your grammar is sound and your syntax is much better than on a first draft.

1. If "Mother" is past tense (dead or not actively trouble-making), then this must be past tense also: lead men should be led men

2. "my father upon one of them": I think you mean among them, though it loses your cadence (rhythm as found in prose); try "my father, alas, among them."

3. chastity, her: semicolon needed chastity; her

4. body so: comma needed body, so

5. believed that I was no better: need am as you are still alive and actively writing a letter

6. was no doubt / grow and become: tense agreement needs grew became

7. casted a curse: past tense is irregular with no suffix, needing cast

  • cast
    verb, cast, cast·ing
    verb (used with object)
    1.
    to throw or hurl; fling (Random House Dictionary)

8. an isolate soul: past tense requires an -ed suffix for isolated (this is the opposite of "cast")

9. time moved different for me: adjective needs differently for me

10. hours stretched to / days stretched to: commas needed between "hours, stretched to" and between "days, stretched to"

There may be others; these are the most obvious ones that are noticeable on a quick examination. If you make a more thorough examination, you will find for yourself if there are any others. Be sure to have your online dictionary opened and ready to use as a dictionary will help you find errors, for instance, in sample sentences given.

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