The Purpose of Narrative Form in Orwell and Angelou's Essyas

Topics: Black people, George Orwell, Burma Pages: 4 (639 words) Published: October 23, 2007
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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