Full Stop, Why Apes Look Like People and The Escape
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Examine each opening sentence carefully. To what degree does each sentence give a clue as to the story, which is to follow, and the use of language within it? Refer to the sentences of ?Full Stop?, ?Why Apes Look Like People? and ?The Escape?.
A captivating opening is half the success for any story. The opening may be descriptive, full of sarcasm, unusual or exciting. It is the same with the opening tune to a song. Besides memorable lyrics and a beautiful melody, the friendly tune to a song makes it an all-timer in people?s minds and charts.
However, I have missed out one important essence: the opening sentence. Honestly, if not for this essay, I would never have thought that opening sentences could act as a theme, or bring with it much significance to the story. I always look at the opening of a story as a whole paragraph, thus overlooking the significance of the opening sentence.
In the story, ?The Escape? by Millie Murray, the use of punctuation is very important as it adds ?emotions? to the characters and readers alike. The exclamation marks used showed extreme anger as two were used. The readers are suddenly plunged into the angry and abusive world of Millie. We are like the children, forced to face the ?unreasonable? father. If a full stop had been used, the father would seem friendly and cordial, which is far from his image.
The scene is so real to the readers because the language adds realism to the story. ?Who put de clock back, eh!!? The standard or Jamaican English gives us the picture that the father is not a native speaker of English but a Jamaican, providing a clue to his background and culture later on, as we know that ?My (Millie) father had trained as a teacher in Jamaica? and that ?he was part Arawak Indian?. The use of patois gives the readers a ?closer-to-life? experience. It helps to guide us into the story. This is sometimes far better that a descriptive paragraph.
This opening line has been carefully crafted by the author as it suggests a clue to the plot. ?Who put de clock back, eh!!?, putting the clock back was the ploy used by Patsy (the mother) to escape and go home to her mother in Jamaica. It was originally Miz Ruby?s idea who chuckled about it. (?Yu know de woman leave de man sleeping inna bed, an take time to ease herself out de house, an when him wake up inna morning an she gone, him tink she it early an go back fi sleep. Dis time de woman gone bout her business?) again, the use of patois gives us the image that this is a true story rather than a fiction story.
The use of patois actually adds to our enjoyment in reading the story. I personally prefer the use of patois as it ads realism and makes me believe in the story. In all, this opening line brings us much significance, the clue to the story, the plot and our enjoyment of the story.
In another story, ?Full Stop?, the use of the opening line is more to it than it meets the eye. ?My grandmother writes without commas or full stops.? This is a clue to the theme of deception and the real character beyond the looks of the grandmother. ?Be like the snake behind the flowering face?(taken from ?MacBeth?)
Since we are informed at the start that Grandma Scottie does not know how to use punctuation and that the correspondence between Carmen and Scottie proved this to be accurate. (?Dear Carmen God bless you for the money I put it in the bank You think Im too old to paint my own house The painters on this island????) until the last letter proved to be otherwise. In Grandma Scottie?s last letter, ? And look how fine you?ve turned out .? The vital full stop used gives Grandma Scottie away. As if this is not enough, she uses a paragraph, putting two spaces before a capital letter (?
Well I finally got a letter from Richard?). The use of punctuation leads us to suspect the true