The three extracts I am comparing are written by three different authors. The first extract I am going to tell you about is written by a famous author called ‘Terry Pratchett’. The second extract is written by a children’s author ‘Charles Dickens’. And finally, the third extract I am going to explain, is written by another well-known author, ‘Eoin Colfer’. With these three extracts, I am going to inform and describe how the characters and settings are developed.
In the first extract the characters are well described using many adjectives. For example ‘Mr Horsefry’ was described as a ‘youngish man, not simply running to fat but vaulting, leaping and driving towards obesity. He had acquired at thirty and impressive selection of chins, and now they wobbled with angry pride. ‘ I can picture this man with so many chains and not being able to speak properly. This is a funny description and makes the reader want to read on and see what else the reader writes about Mr Horsefry. Terry Pratchett’ also writes that Mr Horsefry is: ‘Despite his expression, which was that of a piglet having a bright idea, and his mode of speech, which might put you in mind of a small, breathless, neurotic but ridiculously expensive dog, Mr Horsefry might have been a kind, generous and pious man.
In the same way, the man climbing out of your window in a stripy jumper, a mask and a great hurry might merely be lost on the way to a fancy-dress party, and the man in a wig and robes at the focus of the courtroom might only be a transvestite who wondered in out of the rain. When I read this description I was laughing, and I could imagine a man dressed up as a woman who has god knows how many chains and seeing him wondering in the rain.
Also listening to him when he speaks, it would be difficult to understand him because his chins would get in the way. This is a very good and clear description of ‘Mr Horsefry’ and enjoyable to read and if someone reads this description they would know what ‘Mr Horsefry’ looks like and what his personality is like. Also in this extract, it is a shame that ‘Terry Pratchett’ didn’t describe the settings as much as he describes ‘Mr Horsefry’.
For example the quote, “Ah, this would be . . . what is it now . . . the glass ceiling? ” said lord Vetinari brightly. “No, my lord. That is something else. I believe you may be thinking about the ‘Agatean Wall”. This quote tells me what the ceilings and the walls may look like, but it doesn’t tell me what else the place looks like. The writer could have described what the canary looked like or what time of year it was, for example was it in the middle of winter, or was it in late summer.
But I don’t know because this wasn’t explained in the extract. However ‘Terry Pratchett’ could have explained this in the beginning of the story or later on in the story, I’m not to sure. Describing the setting would make the story a lot better and when the reader reads this extract they would be able to picture what is going on and where the characters are, as that is what happening now, I am confused where the characters are and I am thinking of a completely different place to what the writer is thinking of when he wrote this book.
In the second extract ‘Charles Dickens’ describes the character, ‘The Ghost of Christmas Past’ as: ‘It’s hair, which hung about its neck and down its back, was white, and if with age; and not yet the face had not a wrinkle in it, and the tenderest bloom was on the skin. The arms were very long and muscular; the hands the same, as if it hold were of uncommon strength. Its legs and feet, most delicately formed, were, like those upper members, bare. It wore a tunic of the purest white; and round its waist was a lustrous belt, the sheen of which was beautiful.
It had its dress trimmed with summer flowers. But the strangest thing about it was, that from the crown of its head there sprang a bright clear jet of light, by which all this was visible; and which was doubtless the occasion of its using, in its duller moments, a great extinguisher for a cap, which it now held under its arm. ‘ This is a brilliant description of the sprit and I can picture what ‘The Ghost of Christmas Past’ looks like. I know exactly what her hair, skin, feet, legs and what she was wearing.
This is also a very clear description as well. It is easy to understand and easy to see what the ghost looks like. In this extract ‘Charles Dickens’ does not describe the setting as much in detail as he did with the character ‘The Ghost of Christmas Past’. For example the quote: ‘Not the curtains at his feet, nor the curtains at his back, but those to which his face was addressed. The curtain of his bed drawn aside;’ this quote tells me a little bit about Cosmos room and the curtains.
However I find this quote quite confusing as I am not to sure whether or not the curtains are in Cosmo’s room and where else are the curtains. Also I am not sure where he is, is he in his room? Or is he somewhere less? For example, is Cosmo in a huge empty mansion? Or is he in some hall way? Who knows? That is why it is important to tell the reader where the character is otherwise the reader gets lost. The finial extract is written by anther well known author ‘Eoin Colfer’. He has developed his characters in his story by using a few adjectives.
He describes a character, Cosmo who is a young boy aged fourteen years old as: ‘Cosmo receives his schooling from education software, his teeth were whiter that white and his hair was lustrous and flake-free, but his insides felt like they were being scoured with a radioactive wire brush. Eventually Cosmo realized that the orphanage was slowly killing him. It was time to get out. ‘ ‘Eoin Colfer’ didn’t use as much adjectives as the other writers did. The description of Cosmo was not that clear, as I didn’t know exactly what he looked like. However the quote: ‘… aby Cosmo was discovered swaddled in an insulated Cheery Pizza envelope on Cosmonaut Hill in Moscowtown.
The state police swabbed him for DNA, search for a match in the Satellite mainframe and came up blank. Nothing unusual about that, orphans turn up every day in the city. So the newly christened Cosmo Hill was dipped in a vaccine vat and sent on a tube to the Clarissa Frayne Institute or Parentally Challenged Boys Freight. ‘ This quote tells me that Cosmo was an orphan and was found on ‘Cosmonaut Hill in Moscowtown’. This quote many not tell me what Cosmo looks like but it does tell me about how he was found.
So this is a pretty good description of where he was found. Also in this extract ‘Eoin Colfer’ has used many descriptive words to develop the setting. For example the quote: ‘Satellite City was not part of any welfare state, so the institution had to raise funds any way they could. Clarissa Frayne’s speciality was product testing. Whenever a new modified food or untested pharmaceutical product was being developed, the orphanage volunteered its charges as guinea pigs. It made perfect financial sense.
The orphans got fed and cleaned, and the Frayne Institute got paid for the privilege. This quote tells me about the orphanage and ‘Clarisse Frayne’. This quote may not describe the settings as much as the other stories did but it tells me a lot about the orphanage, but at least that is something. So overall I have realised that it is important to describe the character in the stories, otherwise the reader would think of something else that the writer may not be thing of. Also this is the same for the settings. You have to explain but the area is like and where the characters are. This is important as well so that the reader can picture what is going on without getting confused.
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