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Full Stop, Why Apes Look Like People and The Escape

Uploaded by irony_life on Nov 20, 2000

Examine each opening sentence carefully. To what degree does each sentence give a clue as to the story, which is to follow, and the use of language within it? Refer to the sentences of “Full Stop”, “Why Apes Look Like People” and “The Escape”.


A captivating opening is half the success for any story. The opening may be descriptive, full of sarcasm, unusual or exciting. It is the same with the opening tune to a song. Besides memorable lyrics and a beautiful melody, the friendly tune to a song makes it an all-timer in people’s minds and charts.

However, I have missed out one important essence: the opening sentence. Honestly, if not for this essay, I would never have thought that opening sentences could act as a theme, or bring with it much significance to the story. I always look at the opening of a story as a whole paragraph, thus overlooking the significance of the opening sentence.

In the story, “The Escape” by Millie Murray, the use of punctuation is very important as it adds ‘emotions’ to the characters and readers alike. The exclamation marks used showed extreme anger as two were used. The readers are suddenly plunged into the angry and abusive world of Millie. We are like the children, forced to face the “unreasonable” father. If a full stop had been used, the father would seem friendly and cordial, which is far from his image.

The scene is so real to the readers because the language adds realism to the story. “Who put de clock back, eh!!” The standard or Jamaican English gives us the picture that the father is not a native speaker of English but a Jamaican, providing a clue to his background and culture later on, as we know that “My (Millie) father had trained as a teacher in Jamaica” and that “he was part Arawak Indian”. The use of patois gives the readers a ‘closer-to-life’ experience. It helps to guide us into the story. This is sometimes far better that a descriptive paragraph.

This opening line has been carefully crafted by the author as it suggests a clue to the plot. “Who put de clock back, eh!!”, putting the clock back was the ploy used by Patsy (the mother) to escape and go home to her mother in Jamaica. It was originally Miz Ruby’s idea who chuckled about it. (“Yu know de woman leave de man sleeping inna...

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Uploaded by:   irony_life

Date:   11/20/2000

Category:   Literature

Length:   6 pages (1,255 words)

Views:   1945

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