265. Violations of Parallel Construction. The
following sentences should be recast so that ele-
ments which are parallel in thought shall be paral-
lel in form also :
1. She saw his closed eyes and his body frozen.
2. He awoke to find the church ablaze, and placed
on the altar were two candlesticks.
3. I want none of your prayers, but gold only will
4. Yussouf told him to take thrice the gold and that
his dark thought would flee with him across the desert.
5. He found the church illuminated, and to his sur-
prise golden candlesticks were on the altar.
6. I was astonished to hear the rush of winds and
at feeling a spray of water in my face.
7. She told the boy to open the Bible, to place his
finger on a line, and that line was to determine the cul-
8. They entered the cottage and there sat the
9. He thought to soften her heart, but not a sign
of pity was seen on her face.
10. Her husband entered, severely wounded, but
was not dangerously injured.
256 Composition and Rhetoric
In your writing hereafter observe the following
1. Do not violate the law of parallel construction by
violent and unnecessary changes in voice^ person^ etc.
2. See whether or not any passage can be improved
by amplifying it through parallel construction.
3. See whether or not any passage can be improved
by condensing it by means of this construction,
4. Be careful not to use this construction in express-
ing thought which is not exalted. There is a danger
here of being bombastic.
NARRATION AND DESCRIPTION
THE SHORT STORY CONTAINING
In this chapter we can make use of the things we
have learned about Description, by writing a theme
of a new kind ; that is, one which combines Descrip-
tion and Narration. Although it is possible to write
a theme of pure description (see Â§Â§ 154, 156, and 158),
this kind of composition occurs almost always in con-
nection with Narration, Exposition, Argumentation,
or Persuasion ; in this chapter we wish to make it
subsidiary to Narration.
166. Making a Motive Analysis. Before attempt-
ing this new kind of theme containing both De-
scription and Narration, we shall analyze a piece of
literature which combines the two, so that we may
see how the various narrative and descriptive ele-
ments we have been studying are sometimes organ-
ized. The selection we shall study in this way is
Hawthorne's The Great Stone Face (for the volume,
see Â§68), which contains examples of the following
258 Composition and Rhetoric
1. The situation.
2. Retrospective narrative.
3. Forward-moving narrative. (That is, narra-
tive which carries the action forward from the time
of the situation.)
4. Anticipatory narrative. (That is, narrative
which gives us a hint of events that are coming.)
5. Description of place.
6. Description of personal appearance.
7. Description of character.
8. Description of mood.
9. Description of mode of life.
ID. Description of an occasion.
This resolving of a piece of literature into its
component motives we call making a motive analy-
sis of it.
P.ead The Great Stone Face rapidly for the story
only, and be able to answer the following questions :
What was the prophecy? How many times did
the people think it about to be fulfilled? How many
characters are there in the story ? Are they types or
mere individuals ? Describe each briefly. Was the
prophecy fulfilled in an unexpected manner? What
is the lesson of the story ? Do you find any touches
of humor or pathos ? Where ? Who is the leading
character ? What is the scene of the story ?
167. A Motive Analysis of ''The Great Stone
Face." Before beginning the analysis of this story,
number the paragraphs from i to 78. Then reread
it and verify the following :
The Short Story Containing Description 259
Part I.â€” The Preparation. The story of Ernest. Para-
:vt: ' Paragraph i.
â€¢Tix:: The situation â€” Find the elements.
Transition â€” the device of question (Â§ 69).
\tt Mode of life (Â§ 106) â€” that of the people of the village.
Which of the situation elements is this connected
with ? What is the f imdamental quality of this de-
scription ? What minor devices do you find?
Paragraphs 4 and 5.
Physical appearance (Â§ 102) â€” that of the Great Stone
Face. Which one of the situation elements does
this develop ? What is the fundamental quality of
the appearance of the Great Stone Face ? Point out
^ the minor devices used.
^'"^ Paragraphs 6-9.
I"' A return to the situation (Â§61)â€” Which of the four
w's are used in this return? What fundamental
device appears here ?
^- Retrospective narrative (Â§46) â€” the history of the
legend of the Great Stone Face. What kind of
E' retrospective narrative is this? Find an example
^' of parallel construction.
' Paragraphs 11 and 12.
- A return to the situation â€” Which of the four ele-
p ments are mentioned here? What fundamental
device is used in these paragraphs?
' Part II.â€” The Gathergold story. Paragraphs 13-23.
Forward-moving narrative â€” the life of Ernest.
Character-description â€” that of Ernest.
Mode of life â€” that of Ernest.
Retrospective narrative â€” the life of Gathergold pre-
vious to his coming to the valley. What kind of
retrospective narrative is this ? Find four metaphors.
Find and explain an allusion.
26o Composition and Rhetoric
Place-description â€” Gathergold's house. What is the
fundamental quality? What minor devices do you
find here ?
An occasionâ€” \he coming of Gathergold. Show that
in this description of an occasion, we have touches
of personal appearance, character, and mood. What
is the fundamental quality ? What minor devices do
you find used?
Anticipatory narrative â€” This kind of narrative gives
us a hint of what is coming. All prophecies, curses,
threats, and visions, in stories are examples of antici-
Part III.â€” The General Blood-and-Thunder story. Paragraphs
Forward-moving narrative â€” the life of Ernest.
Character-description â€” that of Ernest. What is the
fundamental quality? What minor devices do you
find in this paragraph ?
Paragraphs 25 and 26.
Retrospective narrative â€” the fate of Gathergold.
The history of General Blood-and-Thunder before
the time of his coming. What kind of narrative is
this ? Find touches of humor.
An occasion â€” What is the fundamental quality ? What
descriptive devices are used in these paragraphs?
What material is used in this description of an occa-
sion? Do you find in it a desc^ption of personal
Mood â€” that of Ernest.
Paragraphs 35 and 36.
Anticipatory narrative â€” With what does the antici-
patory narrative here and in Part II. deal ?
The Short Story Containing Description 261
I. Parts II. and III. have the same general plan.
Prove this by noting the motives used and the order
in which they occur.
II. Make a motive analysis of the remainder,
Part IV. (paragraphs 37-51), Part V. (paragraphs
52-73), and Part VI. (paragraphs 74-78). Does the
pattern observed in Parts II. and III. repeat itself?
Determine the fundamental quality in each descrip-
tion and the devices used in each paragraph.
III. Prove the following statements :
1. The life of Ernest gives unity to the story â€” is
the main plot.
2. The main plot is told in forward-moving narra-
3. The underplots, the stories of Gathergold, Blood-
and-Thunder, etc., are told in retrospective narrative
and in descriptions of occasions which connect them
with the main plot.
4. One underplot succeeds another ; that is, we have
a series of underplots in the order of time.
5. The repetition, in each of the six parts, of the
same plan of construction gives a sort of rhythm to the
movement of the story.
6. Compare this method of working out a plot with
that of The Great Carbuncle, In the latter story one
underplot is not dropped and another taken up, but
they all are carried along simultaneously.
On the side of the plot The Great Stone Face is of
the oracular type ; that is, it is based on a prophecy
and its fulfillment.
On the side of construction it is a sequence story :
it is made up of a simple pattern that repeats itself
262 Composition and Rhetoric â€¢
at regular intervals as do the sections of a Roman
border. One man is heralded as about to fulfill the
prophecy ; he fails to do so. Another is heralded in
like manner ; he also fails. And so on. In each of
these sections of the story almost the same narrative
and descriptive motives are used.
i68. Theme-model IX.â€” The Story Contain-
ing Description. Hawthorne's The Sister Years is
the model for this new theme. The selection should
be read first for a general acquaintance with the
story, then reread and the following motives found
in it : The situation, description of personal appear-
ance, retrospective and forward-moving narrative.
169. Theme-model IX. in Outline. In order to
show the student how one may make minor changes
in the plan of a piece of literature which he is using
as a pattern and yet follow its general scheme, the
outline of Theme-model IX. given below is made to
differ slightly from the model itself, The Sister Years.
The two should be compared and the variations
noted. The outline contains :
1. A situation according to Situation-type I.
2. Description, according to Description-motive
II. (Â§ 102), of the appearance of character A of the
3. Description of the appearance of character B
of the situation. Use Description-motive II.
4. Retrospective narrative in the form of dia-
logue between the two characters, broken by author's
comment, description, or narration. (See Â§ 170.)
5. Forward-moving narrative. (See Â§ 166.)
The Short Story Containing Description 263
170. A New Type of Narration Required by
Theme-model IX. An additional narrative type is
called for by division 4 of the above outline. It is
narrative (either retrospective or forward-moving)
in dialogue broken by author's narration, comment,
or description. We shall study two models for this
type of narrative, one dealing with the paragraphing,
the other with the thought of the passages which
interrupt the dialogue.
I . The paragraphing of this kind of narrative. The
portions given directly by the author in the follow-
ing are printed in italics and interrupt the dialogue :
As Ernest listened to the poet, he imagined that the
Great Stone Face was bending forward to listen too. He
gazed earnestly into the poefs glowing eyes,
" Who are you, my strangely gifted guest ? " he said.
The poet laid his finger on the volume that Ernest had
"You have read these poems,** said he " You know
me, then, â€” for I wrote them.*'
Again, and still more earnestly than before, Ernest
examined the poefs features ; then turned towards the
Great Stone Pace ; then back, with an uncertain aspect, to
his guest. But his countenance fell ; he shook his head,
"Wherefore are you sad ? ** inquired the poet.
"Because,** replied Ernest, "all through life I have
awaited the fulfillment of a prophecy, and, when I read
these poems, I hoped that it might be fulfilled in you.**
" You hoped," answered the poet, faintly smiling, "to
find in me the likeness of the Great Stone Face. And
you are disappointed, as formerly with Mr. Gathergold,
and Old Blood-and-Thunder, and Old Stony Phiz."
â€” Nathaniel Hawthorne,
The Snow Image, and other Twice-Told Tales,
Suggestions. â€” How are the portions which interrupt the dia-
logue paragraphed? Prove that the interrupting portions are
given-by the author and not by the characters of the story.
264 Composition and Rhetoric
2. The thought side of this kind of narrative. The
interrupting passages contain the following :
Narrative â€” the giving of incidents or actions ad-
vancing the story.
Description â€” of place, personal appearance, char-
acter, mood, mode of life.
Author* s comment.
Observe the author's narrative and description
in the following quotation :
Author's Narrative: Miss Hepzibah Pyncheon sat in
the oaken elbow chair, with her hands over her face,
giving way to that heavy down-sinking of the heart
which most persons have experienced, when the
image of hope itself seems ponderously moulded of
lead, on the eve of an enterprise at once doubtful
and momentous. She was suddenly startled by the
tinkling alarum â€” high, sharp, and irregular â€” of a
little bell. The maiden lady arose upon her feet, as
pale as a ghost at cock-crow ; for she was an enslaved
spirit, and this the talisman to which she owed obe-
dience. This little bell, â€” to speak in plainer terms, â€”
being fastened over the shop door, was so contrived
as to vibrate by means of a steel spring, and thus
convey notice to the inner regions of the house when
any customer should cross the threshold. Its ugly
and spiteful little din (heard now for the first time,
perhaps, since Hepzibah's periwigged predecessor
had retired from trade) at once set every nerve of
her body in responsive and tumultuous vibration.
The crisis was upon her! Her first customer was at
the door! "Heaven help me ! " she groaned mentally
"Now is my hour of need! "
Author's Description: The door, which moved with
difficulty on its creaking and rusty hinges, being
forced quite open, a square and sturdy little urchin
became apparent, with cheeks as red as an apple.
He was clad rather shabbily (but, as it seemed, more
owing to his mother's carelessness than bis father's
The Short Story Containing Description 265
poverty) in a blue apron, very wide and short trou-
sers, shoes somewhat out at the toes, and a chip hat,
with the frizzles of his curly hair sticking through
its crevices. A book and a small slate, under his
arm, indicated that he was on his way to school. He
stared at Hepzibah a moment, as an elder customer
than himself would have been likely enough to do,
not knowing what to make of the tragic attitude and
queer scowl wherewith she regarded him.
Dialogue: "Well, child," said she, taking heart at the
sight of a personage so little formidable, â€” "well, my
child, what did you wish for?"
"That Jim Crow there in the window," answered
the urchin, holding out a cent, and pointing to the
gingerbread figure that had attracted his notice, as
he loitered along to school ; "the one that has not a
Author' s Narrative : So Hepzibah put forth her lank
arm, and, taking the effigy from the shop window,
delivered it to her first customer.
Dialogue : " No matter for the money," said she, giving
him a little push toward the door ; for her old gen-
tility was contumaciously squeamish at sight of the
copper coin, and, besides, if seemed such pitiful
meanness to. take the child's pocket money in
exchange for a bit of stale gingerbread. " No mat-
ter for the cent. You are welcome to Jim Crow."
Author's Narrative : The child, staring with round
eyes at this instance of liberality, wholly unprece-
dented in his large experience of cent-shops, took the
man of gingerbread and quitted the premises. No
sooner had he reached the sidewalk (little cannibal
that he was) than Jim Crow's head was in his mouth.
â€” Nathaniel Hawthorne,
The House of the Seven Gables,
Notice the paragraphing of the above selection.
With what motive does the description deal ? Are
the narrative portions retrospective, forward-mov-
ing, or anticipatory? Is the situation given ?
266 Composition and Rhetoric
When description^ narration^ or comment by the author
interrupts the dialogue^ this description^ narration^ or
comment must be put in a separate paragraph and not
enclosed in quotation marks,
171. Theme-model IX. in Reproduction. We are
now ready to reproduce The Sister Years according
to Theme-model IX. In the following exercise the
paragraphs which contain material for the different
motives are indicated.
I. Write and g^ve orally a reproduction of The
Sister Years according to the following plan :
Situation â€” Find material in paragraphs i and 2.
Let the New Year be B of the model.
Description of the personal appearance of the New
Year (B) â€” Find material in paragraph 2.
Description of the 'personal appearance of the Old
Year (A) â€” Find material in paragraphs i and 3.
Condense the material in paragraphs 4-12 and tell
as author's narrative : L ^., in narrative given directly
by the author.
Write paragraph 15 in dialogue.
Write paragraph 16 as author's narrative.
Write paragraph 25 in dialogue.
Write paragraphs 26 and 27 as author's narrative.
Write paragraph 28 as dialogue or monologue.
Suggestions. â€” In what part of the above outline for reproducing
The Sister Years is retrospective narrative called for ? forward-
moving narrative? Consult the text of the story before answer-
ing. In the descriptive paragraphs (the second and third) the first
sentence should state the fundamental quality, the succeeding
sentences enforce this quality, and the last summarize. Use a
different fundamental device in each description. Reread the
descriptions of personal appearance in Chapters VII. and VIII.
The Short Story Containing Description 267
Because the New Year is personified we may use
the term "personal appearance*' with reference to it.
We shall employ this term somewhat loosely in later
exercises in speaking of the physical appearance of
animals or inanimate objects.
II. Reproduce The Pied Piper of Hamelin accord-
ing to Theme-model IX. Place the situation at the
point in the story where the Mayor, let us suppose,
refuses to give the Piper his money. Describe the
appearance of the Mayor and of the Piper. Tell in
retrospective narrative what has happened in the
story up to the time of the situation. Give the re-
mainder of the story in forward-moving narrative,
broken by author's description or comment.
1. When the conclusion of a conditional sentence con-
tains ^^ would have'' or ^^ should have" ^^ might have*'
^^ could have" or ^^must have" begin the condition with
the words ''had" or^'if . . . had."
*â€¢ Had I heard of your coming I should not have gone."
*â€¢ Hadst thou stayed I must have fled."
Are there any conditional sentences in your theme on
The Sister Years f If so, does the conclusion of any con-
tain the words should have, might have, could have,
would have, or must have ?
2. Do not use ''would of" instead of "would have"
3. Underscore in your last theme all verbs in the past
Would the present perfect or the progressive past be
better in any case ?
4. Underscore in your last theme each preposition.
Is it correctly used ?
5. See that all participles and relatives refer definitely
to some word and stand as near as possible to that word.
268 Composition and Rhetoric
172. Theme-model IX. in Subjects from Life
and History. Theme-model IX. is best adapted to
the telling of stories in which there is a sudden
change of r^g^me. It is not so general a form as
Theme-model V., by which, as we have seen (Â§ 87),
any imaginative story whatsoever may be told. It
is, therefore, not so well suited to reproduction as
to the writing of original stories from life and his-
tory, in which we are free to invent our characters,
situations, and incidents. When our material is pre-
scribed, as it is in reproduction, we need a more
elastic theme-model than the one we are now con-
sidering. However, this model is effective in repro-
ducing stories whose main interest for us is in a
change of administration which involves the fall of
one man and the rise of another.
If the retrospective narrative is made to deal
with the history of both characters previous to the
time of the situation, and the forward-moving narra-
tive with the story of their lives, or some incidents
in their lives, after the time of the situation, this
theme may be used for other narratives than those
which deal merely with a change of regime. This
plan is followed in Stevenson's A Lodging for the
Write a story upon any of the following subjects,
using Theme-model IX. :
I. The history of an old and a new lighthouse
keeper as related to a particular lighthouse. Represent
the old man as discharged by the Government and feel-
ing resentful towards his successor, who tries to soothe
his injured feelings.
The Short Story Containing Description 269
2. The career of an old and a new clerk in a
commercial house. Represent the old man as about to
retire on a pension.
3. The story of two successive presidential adminis-
4. An old clergyman about to resign his charge to
a younger man.
5. The story of the fall of Wolsey and the career of
his successor, Cromwell. (See Shakspere's King Henry
6. A country doctor about to give up his practice to
a young physician. Use as the situation an interview
between the two. Give in retrospective narrative the
story of the old doctor and in forward-moving narrative
that of the new.
7. A fanciful history of the Indians and the white
men in America, showing the falling fortunes of the one
and the glorious career of the other.
8. An interview between Warren Hastings and his
successor in India. (See Macaulay's essay on Warren
Hastings for material.) Invent his successor, if you
cannot find out about him in the Histories to which you
Directions Regarding Theme-model IX.
1 . In writing upon any of the subjects suggested in the
above exercise^ follow Situation-type /.
2. Use as a fundamental device in one of the descrip^
tive paragraphs^ the effect of light; in the other ^ obverse
description. Assign contrasting fundamental qualities
to the persons described,
3. Employ also in these descriptions of persons as
many of the minor devices pointed out in Chapters VII,
and VIII, as you can without making your composition
forced and unnatural.
270 Composition and Rhetoric
4. Interrupt the forward-moving and retrospective
narrative in dialogue^ by author's description of place ^
mood, or mode of life, as the story may determine ; also
by author's narrative and comment,
5. Place the situation always at the point where the
older incumbent of the position meets his successor, as in
" The Sister Yearsr
6. The fundamental qualities used in the two descrip-
tive paragraphs of Theme-model IX, should prepare us
for the passing or fall of one of the characters and the rise
of the other.
By inserting in Theme-model VI. (Â§154) the
history of the person described, we have another
kind of theme combining narration and description.
Theme-model VII. (Â§ 156) may be elaborated in the
same way by adding a narrative paragraph dealing
with the history of the place or the life of some
person connected with it.
EXPOSITORY MOTIVES AND MATERIAL
173. What Exposition Is. In the study of
Exposition, as well as in that of Description, our
main concern is with the expository paragraph
rather , than the theme, for we mean to use this
form of composition chiefly as another accessory
of Narration. It often happens that we wish to
pause in the telling of a story and make a general
reflection, a remark that will connect the incident
we have been relating with life in general or to
show that our story illustrates some large principle
of life. You have, no doubt, heard people remark
rather tritely, after listening to a tragic recital of
some kind, ** Such is life," " Everyone has his trou-
bles," "Riches do not always bring happiness."
This tendency to philosophize or generalize about
human experience seems to be natural with all of
us, and we therefore enjoy finding it in literature
if it does not become too obtrusive. We are inter-