Why is the short story titled "The Blank Page" instead of "The Blank Sheet?"

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wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The wording is carefully chosen for these reasons:  first, "sheet" has multiple meanings, both denotative and connotative;  it is the word used for all kinds of "smooth coverings," such as your bed "sheet," or a "sheet" of ice on your windshield, or a "sheet" of waxed paper over your cooking, or even a cookie "sheet," meaning the flat pan on which you bake your cookies.

 Page," on the other hand, strongly suggests paper, either in a book or (in this case) in a notepad or in your printer.  A "page" is a "sheet of writing."  For an author or essayist or student, the noun phrase "blank page" carries the metaphor of "the beginning 'step' in a long, difficult writing process."  Traditionally, the "blank page" is the difficult first step, and its physical appearance is often a psychological impediment to beginning a writing project:  "The blank page stared back up at me, and I had trouble writing my first word."  A parallel metaphor is "Every journey begins with the first step."

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The Blank Page

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