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三篇短文和一个老外的评语(五)

2005-09-14 00:00

  In the first, the writer's control of language struck me. The story is simple, though it has a cruel ending, and the writer has told it in simple, straightforward language without any unnecessary embellishment. Notice how few adjectives and adverbs there are. The weather is simply "cold." This is enough to explain why the brother was wearing gloves and it would not have helped the story to have added anything.

  The essay also shows control of the ideas and structure; a plain narrative that is concluded by the critical event. The writer has sensibly avoided putting any moral lesson or commentary at the end. It is quite clear to the reader how the brother must have felt and the stark and almost brutal ending speaks for itself? no expression of regret, unhappiness, or complaint about the cruelty of life. None is needed. My one criticism of the essay is the choice of title, "Forgetting the gloves shows carelessness." I think this is too explicit and takes away from the surprise ending. It would have been better simply to call it "The gloves" and left the reader to wonder what the connection between gloves and job-hunting was.

  The second essay stood out because of the sudden and very unexpected twist to the story? an apparent success which is then rejected. Again, the writer has controlled her story well and kept the ending simple and effective. Notice once more the relative absence of adjectives, with only one that is metaphorical? "eagle eyes." All the others are factual descriptions, giving the basic information that makes the story "real."

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