“The Spider and the Wasp” is an excellent example of prose. Alexander Petrunkevitch has created a work that entertains as well as educates. The way in which Petrunkevitch develops the prose is particularly notable. In the introduction the writer introduces the central idea of the essay rather abruptly. Usually this is ineffective however in the case of “The Spider and the Wasp” this abrupt introduction serves to grab the readers attention.
Due to the scientific nature of this essay the statement of the conclusion at the start of the essay is acceptable and effective. Petrunkevitch then uses verbal contrast effectively stating that: “It is a classic example of what looks like intelligence pitted against instinct – a strange situation in which the victim, though fully able to defend itself, submits unwittingly to its destruction.” The contrast between “a classic example” and “a strange situation” effectively alludes to the paradox’s and contradictions in the relationship between the spider and the wasp.
The essay is developed in a straightforward manner, describing the spider and the wasp respectively in great detail to provide the background knowledge necessary to fully appreciate the bulk of the essay. The descriptions are very vivid, thorough, and scientific, and are backed up by examples to prove their validity. The examples, such as “In a Paris museum is a tropical specimen which is said to have been living in captivity for 25 years” are good because they not only prove the claims, but also are fascinating and keep the readers attention and interest. Once the two creatures are described, the narrator shifts the method of development to a process analysis of how the wasp actually kills the spider. This shift in development hooks the reader once again. The effective, vivid, and often gruesome descriptions of this process keep the reader interested.
The conclusion is well developed and