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Hot Chocolate and Piggy

Hot Chocolate and Piggy

By Miss Marm

It's Friday, it's snowing, and I went to bed at 2:30 this morning (so responsible!). What I need is 1) a hot chocolate, 2) a long nap, and 3) a chance to mark up a paragraph with cruel red ink. Thanks, Sparkler, for giving me #3!

I'm writing a critical essay on William Golding's use of literary devices, symbolism and motifs to develop characters and themes in Lord Of The Flies for my Standard Grade folio which is due next week and I am not confident about one of my paragraphs. I think I have a problem with over-complicating my writing, especially when it comes to Lord Of The Flies; a book I love and have so much to write about. It is so hard to be as scrupulous as I normally am with my grammar when my sentences are long and rambling as you can probably tell already!

Please help, Miss Marm. Do you think I am over-complicating things?

Golding’s subtle use of literary devices convey the development of characters in “Lord Of The Flies“. For instance, as the novel progresses, Golding writes more from Ralph’s perspective. The reader is given more insight into Ralph’s thoughts and feelings such as in chapter seven when Ralph drifts off into nostalgic, descriptive daydreams. Golding’s style differs greatly in this passage than in chapter one where Ralph pretended to be a fighter plane and “machine-gunned Piggy” for no obvious reason and because of this he seems as vague as the island. From this contrast we see Ralph’s previous impulse-driven approach and childish senselessness. The maturing of Ralph’s character into one of painstaking conscientiousness brings the reader closer to Ralph emotionally which makes his grievances and struggle for order among chaos even more emphatic.

I have no doubt that this is also riddled with grammatical errors and such!

Sincerely,

it'sricepudding

it'sricepudding, I must take issue with your suggestion that grammar goes out the window when you love a book. If anything, the novels you adore should inspire your very finest grammar.

But let's set grammar aside. Yes, there are grammatical errors here, but the major issue is with meaning. I'm not sure what you're getting at in most of these sentences, and that's a bigger problem than a few pesky pronouns.

Golding’s subtle use of literary devices convey the development of characters in “Lord Of The Flies“. [what does it mean to "convey the development of characters"? That's a rather limp phrase. And what do literary devices have to do with anything? The sentences that follow are about Ralph's perspective, not literary devices.] For instance, as the novel progresses, Golding writes more from Ralph’s perspective. The reader is given more [you can easily avoid the passive voice here. Say "Golding gives the reader" rather than "the reader is given"] insight into Ralph’s thoughts and feelings [you're missing the grammatical counterweight to "more" here. More than what?] such as in chapter seven when Ralph drifts off into nostalgic, descriptive daydreams. Golding’s style differs greatly in this passage than [you can't "differ than"; you must "differ from."] in chapter one where Ralph pretended to be a fighter plane and “machine-gunned Piggy” for no obvious reason and because of this [try not to use "this" without explaining what "this" is. Is it Golding's style? The change in his style? Ralph's fighter plane game? The way he machine-gunned Piggy?] he [vague pronoun. "He" could refer to Golding, Ralph, or Piggy] seems as vague as the island [what does it mean to seem "as vague as the island"?]. From this contrast [what contrast? The contrast between styles? Spell it out.] we see Ralph’s previous impulse-driven approach and childish senselessness. The maturing of Ralph’s character into one of painstaking conscientiousness brings the reader closer to Ralph [here, you don't need to repeat the name. The subject hasn't changed, so you can say "him" instead of "Ralph"] emotionally which makes his grievances and struggle for order among chaos even more emphatic [we feel closer to him, so his problems are more emphatic? Hmm. Not sure I see the logic. Also, how does the shift in perspective relate to Ralph's maturation? That's the key here, but you never get to it].

I hope this helps, Sparkler—and that I wasn't too grumpy.

Want to see your work covered in cranky red remarks? Send it to missmarm@sparknotes.com.

Topics: grammar, pronouns, the lord of the flies
 

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