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The opening paragraph of any work of fiction is one of the most important paragraphs in the text. The opening paragraph gives the author a chance to create interest, appeal to our emotions, intrigue our minds, and use phrasing in ways that make us want to continue reading.
Several aspects of the opening paragraph of Sharon Creech’s novel Walk Two Moons might inspire a reader to continue reading. These aspects include the following:
- The opening sentence implies a focus on family relationships:
Gramps says I am a country girl at heart, and that is true.
Since almost every human being grows up as part of a family, this sentence already implies a situation to which most people would be able to relate.
- The opening sentence is informal in tone (as in the reference to “Gramps” rather than “Grandfather”), and the language seems simple, clear, plain, and straightforward.
- The novel is narrated from a first-person point of view, and most people are naturally curious about how other individuals see things and about the experiences of other persons.
- The description of the narrator’s home town as merely a “caboodle of houses resting in a green spot” is not only literally colorful but also uses the highly unusual word “caboodle.” Use of this word implies that the narrator will be inventive and unconventional, at least in her choices of words.
- The narrator uses the simile “plucked me up like a weed,” suggesting already that her language will be inventive in its use of rhetorical devices.
- The narrator makes a statement and then immediately alters her claim in a parenthetical aside, suggesting that the book may have a sort of “stream of consciousness” style. The interruption also suggests her concern with truth. In both ways, the interruption implies that she will be a somewhat complex character.
- The list inside the parenthesis gives energy and detail to the sentence, while the concluding comment that the trees and other items all belonged to the narrator implies her love of nature and a somewhat humorous tone.
All in all, the opening paragraph implies a narrator who will be lively, self-confident, and capable of humor. Most readers, after finishing this paragraphs, would want to learn more about this engaging girl and her experiences.
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