Introductory Paragraph

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NARRATIVE PARAGRAPH
The toddler climbed laboriously up onto the stool, determined to “help” her mother. But her mother did not notice; she was far too busy with the frantic preparations for the birthday party. Ten three-year-olds and their mothers coming for an afternoon of treats, games and face painting: a herald of another party, ten years from now, when make up would be the order of the day, the child’s father had observed. As the mixer whirred and the dishwasher swished and the oven beeped its warning of impending culinary disaster, the child’s attempt to be a part of the busy-ness was more than her mother could attend to. She did not notice when the girl reached the top of the stool, nor did she see the tiny hand reach out toward
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Paragraph Analysis
Purpose: to tell a brief story
Structure: no real thesis statement, as there is nothing to be proven in this paragraph, but there is an introductory sentence that establishes character, setting and situation, there are body sentences, and there is a concluding sentence that summarizes the resolution of the main conflict
Language: language is relatively casual and includes a single example of the language of the three-year-old child to help establish character
Features: narrative components such as plot, characters, setting, conflict and resolution are evident; use of onomatopoeia (“whirred,” “swished,” “beeped”) to mimic the distracting effects of the busy
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This leads the reader to suspect that Holden’s story is not all that is appears, and coaxes the reader to look more deeply into the character and his situation. Very early in the novel, Holden himself casts doubt on his reliability as a narrator when he confesses to his in-story audience, a psycho-therapist, that he is “the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful” (Chapter 3). This self-indictment alerts the reader to the fact that everything Holden says will need to be taken with a grain of salt and that it will be important to look beyond the surface of the text. Later in the novel, Holden relates a story about his date with a girlfriend in which she tells him to stop yelling at a club. He protests that he “wasn’t even yelling” but it is clear from his description that he probably was yelling, and that his girlfriend was trying to calm him down. This incident, and others like it, suggests that Holden is not good at monitoring his own behaviour. This again calls into question Holden’s explanations of what goes on in the novel and encourages the reader to look seriously at the words spoken by the other characters, even if they are related through Holden’s eyes. Thus, through both Holden’s explicit assessments of his own personality and the implicit meaning of the events in the story, the reader can see that Holden

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