mercredi, octobre 24, 2007


Essay #1, ANGL 1041- Advanced Language, Writing and Reading

This is the first essay assignment of the course. It was a 500 word response to Margaret Laurence's Where The World Began, a descriptive and narrative essay about the author's life in the canadian prairies and the effects her experience has had on her as a person and an author.

The purpose of this essay was to explore the pattern of organisation specific to description and narration.

The preface of my world

My world started in the ultimate ordinary. I lived my beginnings in a single family house with a fenced backyard in the center of middle-class suburbia. My suburbia was like most other suburbs of Halifax: calm and green with a hint of nostalgia. To the naked eye, it might have seemed dull to live in a neighborhood like all others. Soon enough however, I learned that by using my imagination, the real world could be seen in a more colourful way.

It originated with the boundaries of my own little backyard. Back then, it was my land with my little tree and my rusty little swing set. I didn’t have much because my parents didn’t earn a lot of money back then. Nevertheless, I didn’t care because I was too small to understand such things. Although I lacked the best swing set, I quickly learned how to use my imagination to escape the dullness of the rusty structure. It became my first castle and with it, I had many enjoyable adventures.

The more I grew, the more my kingdom expanded. With the years, my backyard was replaced with my street. When I was allowed to venture further, I discovered the joys of playing around the crescent. It was only when I was around 10 that I could live the pleasures of exploring the whole neighbourhood. I suddenly found myself freer and with a few new companions to share my ever growing imagination. At that time, the sky was the limit. My friends and I would bike through the Cranberry Lake trails pretending to be lost in a haunted forest. It was a dense forest, gently sloping to the lake. Often my best friend and I would fish there on a self-constructed raft. We pretended we were Tom Sawyer or some other adventurous character. It was those activities that kept me out and active during the long summer break. I guess that without my imaginative ways, I would’ve missed out on a lot of happy moments.

Although my imagination permitted me to see the hidden charm of my neighbourhood, it’s my maturation that permitted me to see things differently. As a teenager, I could see it from a new perspective. I realised that my neighborhood wasn’t a microcosm of the real world because my environment wasn’t gritty, scary and gang-torn like other places close-by. Here, even in the darkest nights of winter when everything seemed to be hibernating, there was still a certain charisma present. It was an appeal so strong yet almost incomprehensible to my young mind. Maybe it was the solidarity so present within neighbors or the presence of a strong sense of community. The true answer was well-beyond my imagination.

It is only when I left home to settle elsewhere that I could figure it out. My new neighbourhood felt awkward because it was missing something. Even if it horribly resembled my old neighbourhood, this one just didn’t strike my imagination. That’s when I realised that the very soul of my ordinary suburb was the fact that I called it ‘‘home’’. Nowhere else will ever replace my homeland. I will only call one place ‘‘home’’ in my entire life: the place where I learned that the beauty of things does not come with pure imagination alone. It comes by coming to terms with the environment and looking beyond it.

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