Why Writers Aim to Make the Beginning of their Text Exciting
Ways that Writers Aim to Make the Beginning of their Texts Exciting.
It is vital for the writer of the text to engage the reader from the very beginning, as the opening depends on the rest of the text.
The form should engage the reader by the narrative aspects whether it s first person narrator or third person. Multiple narratives are also interesting as it gives the point of view from different people and not just one like in Gatsby. The narration is from Nick himself and at one point from Jordan.
The Great Gatsby has a sense of mystery from the beginning which engages the reader as Nick says ‘I was privy to the secret griefs of the wild, unknown men’. This interesting point shows that Nick knows the secret which he may reveal later on, which in turn motivates the reader to carry on reading till the end of the chapter. Gatsby’s enigma and background history is also very interesting as the main character has a secret mystery behind his appearance. This climactic situation builds up tension; hence the reader is motivated to continue reading.
In chapter 7, the opening says, ‘it was curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest that the lights in this house failed to go on one Saturday’. I believe this is a very strong and effective opening, as this is a sense of mystery, this leaves the reader wondering why this was the case, we would only find out if we continued reading, therefore Fitzgerald has used a very strong opening.
Fitzgerald also uses very descriptive language which engages the reader immensely as it gives clear image and history. The language is also almost embedded within the description such as pathetic fallacy is used to create the setting and the mood of the characters as well as the reader. For example in chapter 5 it says ‘the day was agreed upon the pouring rain’. This creates imagery and sets the setting and the reader is left wondering what the consequences of the pouring rain will be.
From the very beginning, Nick mentions Gatsby; however it is more positive than negative. This already creates a positive image of Gatsby which later on reflects on his lying and deceit. Nicks honest character is shown, which makes us accept his character and judgements. He doesn’t think like the rest of the people ‘Gatsby turned out alright in the end’.
The time also engages the reader as it is set in the jazz age, which was the wild age. People did whatever they liked whenever they liked, therefore it is clear that they would not behave in the right way, hence would result in drama as seen in this novel. There were almost as if there were no boundaries and people did as they wished not caring what would happen. Nevertheless, there was a divide in the social class and status.
Moreover, in the browning poetry, ‘Porphyries Lover’ and my last duchess engages the reader from the beginning.
The use of poetic devices seem interesting as it creates imagery in the readers mind, this could create a negative setting which would result in the poem being negative. The pathetic fallacy suggests that he is angry and annoyed ‘but why’ and ‘vex the lake’. The use of first person narrative and a dramatic monologue makes the texts seem more interesting, natural and effective. Poetic devices such as metaphors, similes and personification make the text effective, as it is at the beginning it makes it more effective. Starting with a more natural image ‘tore the elm tops down for spite’ this creates a more natural image, which creates a strong opening and engages the reader immensely.
Moreover in ‘My Last Duchess’ the idea of concealing gets the reader thinking, e.g. in the title ‘that’s my last duchess’ the ‘last’ suggests why she was the last duchess and how many did he have? ‘Looking as if she were alive’ this gives us a hint about the ending which reveals his nature at the end. The possessive pronoun ‘my last duchess’ affects the reader it could influence the readers about the thoughts on the characters. The multiple narratives are also effective as it prevents the texts from coming across as biased.
The iambic pentameter and the rhyming couplets are also effective, as it creates a rhythm in the poem which motivates the reader to continue reading. There are also sexual connotations ‘Fra Pandolfs hands worked busily a day’. This sentence could have multiple meanings therefore this could intrigue the reader more and more as the poem progresses.
Finally, in the ancient mariner the beginning of part 1 starts with archaic language and description with a fast paced rhythm, as opposed to part three which has a slow paced rhythm. This reflects with the context of the part where everything is taking its time which then gradually builds up tension. The different parts consist of positive and negative connotations, depending on the situation. The sound effect and the onomatopoeia, is effective in part three as the pace is slow and the sibilance of the y. the exclamatory sentences are also effective as it shows the excitement of the mariner.
Part 4 and 5 are very different as part 4 begins with fear when the wedding guest says ‘I fear thee ancient mariner and ‘alone alone all all alone’. These negative sentences makes us fear the mariner as the repetition of ‘alone’ and ‘all’ creates a dramatic fearful image creating tension and builds up to climax. This is opposite of part 5 as it begins with ‘oh sleep! It is a gentle thing’ this is a positive image which creates a positive mood and sets the scene positively.