Instructions (Review part 1 AND part 2) PART 1: Read the three short excerpts of famous modern narratives provided below. Fill out each chart that follows, including the information that seems factual, versus subjective bias.
Remember the definitions from yesterday:
Factual Information: These are points you will write down that seem like facts from the narrative (dates, locations, etc…). Factual information is such that it cannot be disputed, or argued (i.e. you live in Pequannock, NJ).
Subjective Bias: These are the opinions of the narrator, ideas and thoughts that the author describes based on personal outlook, rather than JUST factual information (i.e. you live in Pequannock, NJ – the coolest town in the North East).
Using the information you’ve learned over the past few days about narrative writing, write a short narrative in your own voice (this should only be about a paragraph like the samples provided here). Think of a particular memory that stands out to you from your childhood that you want to describe. This can be anything that seems (or seemed) significant to you. Remember, narrative writing is written from the “I” so make sure to include statements such as “I” “me” “my” etc…Don’t worry so much about spelling or grammar, just let your creativity flow.
I am hoping to feel better by Monday. We will recap all of the narratives you’ve read thus far. If you were absent any day this week, please use the class homework page to catch up on the required readings.
Personal Narrative Excerpts
in Honor of the upcoming Black History Month
From Martin Luther King, Jr.’s book, Stride Toward Freedom (as printed in James M. Washington’s book, A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writing and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr., p. 420)
I remembered a trip to a downtown shoe store with Father when I was still small. We had sat down in the first empty seats at the front of the store. A young white clerk came up and murmured politely:
“I’ll be happy to wait on you if you’ll just move to those seats in the rear.”
My father answered, “There’s nothing wrong with these seats. We’re quite comfortable here.”
“Sorry,” said the clerk, “but you’ll have to move.”
“We’ll either buy shoes sitting here,” my father retorted, “or we won’t buy shoes at all.” Whereupon he took me by the hand and walked out of the store. This was the first time I had ever seen my father so angry. I still remember walking down the street beside him as he muttered, “I don’t care how long I have to live with this system, I will never accept it.”
And he never has.
From Alice Walker’s book, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, p. 361 (Alice Walker: Award-winning African-American novelist, poet, and short-story-writer. B: 1944 . Still alive.)
It is a bright summer day in 1947. My father, a fat, funny man with beautiful eyes and a subversive wit [-he is tricky and funny-], [he] is trying to decide which of his eight children he will take with him to the country fair…
… I am two and a half years old. I want to go everywhere my daddy goes. I am excited at the prospect of riding in a car. Someone has told me fairs are fun. That there is room in the car for only three of us doesn’t faze me at all. Whirling happily in my [crisp, ironed dress], showing off my [newly-shined] patent-leather shoes and [light purple] socks, tossing my head in a way that makes my ribbons bounce, I stand, hands on hips, before my father. “Take me, Daddy,” I say with assurance; “I’m the prettiest!”
From Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope, p. 267
Here Barack Obama is describing a visit to St. Pius in Chicago:
as I offered my hand and introduced myself… At one point a young girl, seven or eight, came up to me, her parents standing behind her, and asked me for an autograph; she was studying government in school, she said, and would show it to her class.
I asked her what her name was. She said her name was Cristina and that she
was in the third grade. I told her parents they should be proud of her… I watched Cristina translate my words into Spanish for them…
Part II Using the information you’ve learned over the past few days, write a short narrative in your own voice (this should only be about a paragraph like the samples above). Think of a particular memory that stands out to you from your childhood that you want to describe. This can be anything that seems (or seemed) significant to you. Remember, narrative writing is written from the “I” so make sure to include statements such as “I” “me” “my” etc…Don’t worry so much about spelling or grammar, just let your creativity flow.
Write your own narrative here