The purpose of the narrative form in Angelou's and Orwell's essays
Narrative writing is a written account of connected events. Writers choose the
narrative form to inform, to explain, or simply to recount events that support a thesis. In
Maya Angelou's essay, Finishing School, and George Orwell's essay, Shooting an
Elephant, both writers use the form of narrative to tell a story yet their purpose is
different. In the first, the author relied on dialogue and descriptive details to show us the
racial issues that black women faced in segregated Arkansas, and how important it is to
defend your dignity. On the other hand, Orwell's use of subjective narrative, symbolism
and metaphors was to inform us of the dangers and the nature of imperialism.
Maya's essay recounts a painful event that she endured while growing up in
racially segregated Stamps, Arkansas. She wrote it for the purpose of giving us a glimpse
of the differences and injustices between blacks and whites, and how important it is to
stand up for your pride and dignity when that's all you have. Angelou's used dialogues
and a lot of description in her essay. It helped us understand clearly the relationship
between whites and blacks, in addition to the fragility of communication between those
two races. Also, the use of dialogue between Maya and Ms Glory, both black, highlights
the fact that black people in those days shared the same feelings and faced the same
obstacles. The details in Finishing School, added interest and empathy while the simple
sentences called for a maximum evocation. As a result, we felt for her in our emotional
response which is half of her intent, the other half is that she hoped that could evolve
from our optimism into action, our belief is in our world wide model: We shall overcome.
George Orwell's narrative essay, Shooting an Elephant, describes an internal
conflict between his...
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