Topic: ENGL1010: Seminar in Academic Writing Rhetoric of Narrative

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Topic: ENGL1010: Seminar in Academic Writing Rhetoric of Narrative


Big Picture.   In the preface to his graphic novella Coraline (2002), Neil Gaiman paraphrases G.K. Chesterton and specifies the “truth” of fairy tales: “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Smaller Picture.   In this essay, you will apply and extend the ideas about narrative that you generated in your brief analysis of Charlotte’s Web’s narrative, and that you encountered in Herman and Abbott’s essays (respectively).  In particular, you will examine further the concept of “The Rhetoric of Narrative” as suggested by the title of Porter Abbott’s fourth chapter of The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative (2008).  Porter Abbot’s chapter will supply you with the conceptual tools for analyzing an example of narrative rhetoric—that is, an example of persuasion through the conveyance (or telling) of a story.


The Rhetoric of Narrative
The narrative chosen for the purpose of this paper is The Withdrawing Room by Charlotte Macleod. The author uses the third person point of view also known as omniscient to explain the characters and what they are doing. It all starts when Augustus Quiffen is killed by accidentally falling in front of a train. This seems to be the story until another character claims that it was not an accident and that it was a murder. However, she could not identify the identity of the real killer nor the motive. The third person point of view commonly referred to as the omniscient point of view is where there is an omniscient character who explains everything in the story. The third person who is considered omniscient does not appear in the story and does not seem to have much of a personality. In the narrative, The Withdrawing Room the author uses the third person to explain how Sarah and Max Bittersohn both investigate the suspicion and find out that the killer has planned the death before execution. This paper will use the narrative to explain the rhetoric of narrative as explained by Charlotte Webb, abbot and Herman.
In the book The Withdrawing Room, the author has applied the use of the omniscient figure to help explain the investigation to find out the real killer and his intentions. The author has successfully used the omniscient point of view to help the reader visualise the investigation into the ...

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