Writer Customer English 11 December 2011 A Comparative Analysis 1. Introduction In the two essays A View from the Bridge by Cherokee McDonald and Two Ways of Seeing a River by Mark Twain the writers presents the readers with their two interesting elucidations about human behavior, life and its diverse aspects…
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2. Comparative Analysis Although the two essays deal with two different subject matters and themes yet there are some similarities in the thematic concerns and symbolism incorporated by the two authors. However the technique or the style of narration utilized and the depiction of the theme and symbols highlight their individualistic writing styles. 2.1. Narration Technique Mark Twain in his treatise uses the technique of third person narration which provides the readers with a chance to draw their personal conclusions as he acts as a mediator between the reader and the text. On the other hand McDonald employs the first person narration technique. Although generally it is assumed that first person narration limits a text’s interpretations for the readers since it is a first hand account of a writer’s explication of a situation. Yet the incorporation of the dialogues can be inferred as a technique employed in order to establish a close connection between the action of taking place in the essay and the readers. The use of dialogues also camouflages the presence of the writer or the narrator in the text. However a major similarity that is observed in the depiction of writing style is that both authors illustrate detailed descriptions. As observed that McDonald says, “He was a lumpy little guy with baggy shorts, and a faded T-shirt and heavy sweat socks falling down over old sneakers” (). Similarly Twain states, “A broad expanse of the river was turned to blood; in the middle distance the red hue brightened into gold… in another the surface was broken by boiling, tumbling rings, that were as many-tinted as an opal; where the ruddy flush was faintest, was a smooth spot that was covered with graceful circles...high above the forest wall a clean-stemmed dead tree waved a single leafy bough that glowed like a flame in the unobstructed splendor that was flowing from the sun” (). Hence both the writers pay special attention to the minute details. 2.2. Thematic Concern A major common theme that both the authors deal with in their respective pieces of work is the theme of innocence although the manner in which they project it is different. It is stated in Two Ways of Seeing a River that, “Now when I had mastered the language of this water and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition… All the grace, the beauty, the poetry had gone out of the majestic river” (). This line can be interpretted as, that the writer believes it is better to retain an aura of mystery or innocence and all the secrets should not be revealed so that it can stimulate human curiosity and interest. Since when all the mysteries are unveiled as is the case with the river than it becomes monotonous and even stifling because the newness fades away. Moreover in terms of human beings and their behavior it can be perceived that Overanalyzing of people or even ones self can result in the loss of beauty (however bittersweet) of humanity. A similar theme is used by McDonald in his essay. He emphasizes the importance of innocence through the actions of the blind child i.e. since his lack of sight hinders his quest for knowledge the
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