Figure 56: Essay Excerpt on Christmas, Light in August

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “This Doesn’t Occur/Contradiction.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “T” category or by typing the title into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

In the sample excerpt, the student makes assumptions without providing supporting evidence to validate her claims. In addition, the student doesn’t apply the proper use of pronouns to one or more characters. Let’s read the excerpt.

Sample Excerpt

To begin, in McEachern’s attempt to “understand” Christmas, not receiving a straight answer from the matron, she states to him, “ ‘We make no effort to ascertain their parentage.  As I told you before, he was left on the doorstep here on Christmas Eve [and] will be five years two weeks.  If the child’s parentage is important to you, you had better not adopt one at all’ ” (Faulkner 133).  This chapter of the novel begins a socially active participation in truly understanding Christmas, who he represents within society.  It is possible to attribute Christmas’s name calling by the children and the presence of Doc Hines as a pivotal scene in the novel, but only the dietician makes it possible to get rid of him, foreshadowing the actions of Percy Grimm.  It is McEachern’s continued persistence with the matron to know his parentage that sets the tone for the need of classification of marginal citizens.  In giving in to the matron, he accepts not knowing the child’s background and parentage.

Figure 56: Essay Excerpt on Christmas, Light in August


The student refers to a single character in the plural.

Revision Consideration

When referring to characters within a literary work, maintain the same context of singular and plural references.

Group Activity

1) Based upon the revision consideration, critique the student’s analysis.

2) Refer to the literary text to validate your assumptions.

3) Rewrite the student’s analysis.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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