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Persuasive Essay on the book ''Out of My Skin''


Asma 3 / 8  
May 28, 2007   #1
we had to read a book each and write an essay stating that our particular book should win the 'Pearson/Canada Reads' (an imaginary competition made up by my teacher)...well..i do know wht the book is all about..and the three subthesis are Characterization, Plot, and Theme...this is what i have so far and im NOT pleased with it. Hope you can help a little.,,

 General Statement:

The novel Out of my Skin is a fantastic book, that definitely aught to be chosen for Pearson Canada Reads. It comprises of all the elements that make up a great book- and includes a wide variety of characters, a well developed plot and an intriguing theme among other things.

In her first book, Out of My Skin, Tessa McWatt has included a ____________________ (something other than 'wide range of') characters. She has taken a very different approach in portraying her characters and therefore, her book must be the winner of Pearson/Canada Reads. The protagonist, Daphne, is a very self-conscious and curious individual, and is a person of colour who is adopted into a white household. Daphne doesn't know her past, and is trying to look for it.

i dont like anything about how i started. Any suggestions would be appreciated! thanks!
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
May 28, 2007   #2
Greetings!

I think perhaps the thing you are not liking about your opening is the tone. Let's see if we can make it a bit less enthused and a bit more scholarly. :-))

The novel Out of my Skin is a compelling book which is well-deserving of the Pearson Canada Reads. It is comprised of all the elements that make up a great book, including a wide variety of characters, a well developed plot and an intriguing theme.

Tessa McWatt has included a plethora of sympathetic characters.

She has taken a very different approach in portraying her characters and therefore, her book must be the winner of Pearson/Canada Reads. - This sounds out of place here; perhaps save it for the conclusion...?

I hope this helps!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Asma 3 / 8  
May 29, 2007   #3
thanks for the edits and suggestions!...i havent yet got a General Statement...i dont know what i can say regarding that. Should my general statement be about the book? or the contest? or both combined?..i was also wondering if you could look over my rough draft. i'll need help with the conclusion.Thanks a million!
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
May 30, 2007   #4
Greetings!

I'm not exactly sure what your instructor means by "general statement" but it seems to me that both should be mentioned, if the thrust of your argument is that the book should win the prize.

I'd be happy to look over your rough draft when you're ready!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Asma 3 / 8  
May 30, 2007   #5
here is my rough draft. i havent yet got a good beginning to the essay, and suggestions would definitely help!...that's what my teacher meant by a general statement-something related to the topic, yet not entirely what the essay is about...if u get what i mean...lol...thanks a lot!!

have to include the actual beginning to the essay here---> The novel Out of my Skin is a compelling book which is well-deserving of the Pearson Canada Reads. It is comprised of all the elements that make up a great book, including a cleverly developed plot, a wide variety of interesting characters, and an intriguing theme.

Out of My Skin's plot is definitely a commendable one.
--->The story is of a young woman's discovery of her family history. Out of my Skin, set against the backdrop of the Oka Crisis, begins abruptly, with a vague introduction of Daphne, the central character of the novel. Daphne, who is thirty years old, is shown to be staring into the houses of random people, trying to find herself in their surroundings. "With her nose in the window, she'd watched" (McWatt, 2) the interiors of the houses, judging the people living in it through the layout. This beginning creates the mood of curiosity and encourages the reader to continue reading. Upon sheer impulse, Daphne moves to Montreal. Here, Daphne begins to look for her biological parents. As a girl inspired by fantasies and myths, Daphne relates everything to fragments of history and reconstructs other people's lives. By means of the agency, she finds her aunt, who coincidently resides in Montreal itself. Fearful, excited, and reluctant at the same time, Daphne meets her aunt, Sheila Eyre, who informs her of her mother's suicide not long after giving birth to Daphne. Gerald, Daphne's grandfather's diaries, that she receives from her aunt open a whole new prospect of life for Daphne. Initially, she finds her grandfather's bold writing "horrific and repulsive" (McWatt, 84), but as she reads about the day to day life of her grandfather, she develops a kind of attachment to him she finds that she respects him and she sees a lot of herself in him. She finally finds a sort of connection, a sense of belonging, but is barely satisfied in finding out her roots. Gerald Eyre's journals express deep emotion, shifting between past and present experiences of his as he undergoes treatment at an asylum in Guyana. The journals include a lot of flashback looking into the life of Gerald's childhood. There are many regrets expressed in the diaries. At one point, Gerald says he is "on the verge of a red orange world-screams ting tang the far corner of my head like a distant steel band threatening joue vey" (McWatt, 150). These diaries become a part of Daphne, who is still searching for her unknown father. She carries them around everywhere, and "faithfully carters the diaries with her" (McWatt, 198). The novel roughly follows the typical plot structure, beginning from the introduction of the main character Daphne (Exposition) and ending at Denouement. The Rising Action takes place when Daphne is in search of her past, locates her aunt and finds out about her origin. After finishing the journals, Daphne returns to Toronto and meets up her adopted parents on impulse yet again, and being restless, goes back to Montreal to meet her aunt. She starts asking questions that she had bottled up in her ince her childhood.Regarding Gerald's journal, she asks, "He talks about forcing someone...about sex. Was it you?" (McWatt, 169). Daphne herself and the readers are not ready for the answer she receives. It was her own mother, Gerald's daughter who had been forced. Daphne was the child of her mother and her grandfather. This answer shocks Daphne to such an extent that she "bolted off the couch to escape Sheila" (McWatt, 269). This dramatic piece of information forms the climax of the story. Her image of her 'grandfather' was thus shattered. Unable to comprehend this atrocious revelation, Daphne takes up intense drinking, claiming "it was the only model for action she had" (McWatt, 174). The drinking not only relieves her off the feeling of something dirty, but also serves as the Falling Action in the plot structure of the story. Her struggle to put back her past, to bury it and to learn to respect it is what forms the rest of the story. The story advances in a chronological fashion, with a few flashbacks serving as background information. The style and structure of the story, which is punctuated by journal entries and excerpts from different books such as Jane Eyre, and the excellent narrative, combine to make the book worthy of Pearson/Canada Reads.

---> Furthermore, the characters in the book are increasingly fascinating. Tessa McWatt has included a plethora of sympathetic characters in her first novel Out of My skin. The novel consists of characters that are portrayed realistically, and are made believable throught their real-life situations. A spontaneous individual, Daphne leaves Toronto on a mere impulse and moves to Montreal to start a whole new life. Daphne is not very confident about her looks and therefore "kept very few mirrors in the house" (McWatt, 5). She longed for looks that would "drive someone to carve her name out on his hand" (McWatt, 5) but instead, she thinks, she "inspires a pat on her head" (McWatt 5) She is also a very deductive person, judging people right from the very first glance. Daphne is very curous about things and feels the need to be let in on the lives of other people. But her reserved nature does not allow her full indulgence in workplace gossip. Even as a child, Daphne's curiosity could not be satisfied with a mere yes or no answer. She needed to find out more about any and everything. And this curious nature of hers led to her love of books. She would have "preferred to stay home and just read" (McWatt, 7) instead of going to work. She feels alone and secluded a lot of times, and takes her being an only 'child' in the house badly. During her teenage years "She longed for the comfort of a sister's voice, to confirm or toss aside her fears" (McWatt 60). The protagonist Daphne Braid is a person of colour who has been adopted into a white family and has been with them since as long as she can remember. Daphne was singled out at school by her peers for having a darker complexion than that of her adopted parents. She feels the need to now find her origin, her roots, and her parents. Daphne is reluctant to accept a fact, but is still curious enough to uncover it. In her search for her birth parents, her past and her identity, Daphne comes across her grandfather's diary. It is through this diary that the character of Gerald Eyre is introduced to the readers. Daphne sees her spontaneous attitude coming from her grandfather. He too was a quiet man, who didn't believe in much talking. "...it's because speaking doesn't count-that it vanishes into people's breast pockets." He says in one of his journal entries. Although reserved and quiet, Gerald does not abstain from putting down his thoughts on paper. His writing makes Daphne feel "embarrassed and horrified" (McWatt 84). He shares Daphne's love for reading, and quotes things from what he has read often in his journals. "He says, quoting the villain: 'Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe'."(McWatt 105) Gerald does not understand why his family despises him. He seems to be aware that he has a problem, but out of sheer stubbornness, does not say of it to the doctors. A very colourful character, Gerald expresses his thoughts and feelings in a very interesting way. He replaces writing with his passiveness. Through the diaries, a very different Gerald is known. Like many people we call crazy, Gerald could not bear very much reality. Gerald is a very ironic, enigmatic figure. He is confused about power and his confusion leads to him being confused about his own relationship with his daughter, Daphne's mother. Tessa McWatt has chosen very specific characters, each relating to each other in some way, but all pointing towards a general idea of human nature. The book consists of a lot more characters, significant in their own way. Her portrayal of all characters either they major or minor makes the book very interesting as each of them are shown to be on their own path to self discovery. The characters presented are real and believable, and the reader is thrown between liking and disliking the same character as the story progresses.

---> Another invincible fact as to why Out of My Skin should be chosen for Pearson/Canada Reads is that it has a wholly relatable theme. The story's main idea is to convey the message of importance of Self-identity to the readers. All characters are in conflict with themselves and are trying to find out their identity in their own way. Daphne, after going through the struggle of finding her identity, refuses to accept it. Daphne doesn't go back to her past to embrace it, but to put it away. She can identify her past, but is not able to embrace it. Gerald, on the other hand, determined not to let his social identity let him down in life. Through his writing...i still need to complete the third body paragraph...i needed some time, i would appreciate if u could edit the rest of it.

---> All in all, Out of My Skin is a book comprising of all the elements that make up a fantastic read. The story is filled with different twists and turns and the techniques used by the author gives a thrill to the story, thereby keeping the reader guessing and interested throughout the novel. An unusual and imaginative story line, the book is matchless. The plot is eccentric yet terrific, McWatt has taken a very different approach in potraying her characters and the theme is one that can easily connect with the reader. Therefore, it is clear that her book must definitely be the winner of Pearson/Canada reads. im not entirely satisfied by the conclusion. suggestions?

umm..i have to persuade the reader of the essay to make them believe my book is the best...and i dont think its very...persuasive? once again, thanks alot!
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Jun 1, 2007   #6
Greetings!

I think your essay is coming along very well! The beginning is particularly good; I do feel you begin to backtrack and repeat yourself a bit in the middle, though. For instance, with this sentence:

In her search for her birth parents, her past and her identity, Daphne comes across her grandfather's diary.
You present it as if for the first time, but you've already discussed it, above.

A few more suggestions:

This sentence is a bit jumbled:
Gerald, Daphne's grandfather's diaries, that she receives from her aunt open a whole new prospect of life for Daphne.
Better would be "Daphne receives her grandfather's diaries from her aunt; the writings open a whole new prospect of life for Daphne."

as she reads about the day to day life of her grandfather, she develops a kind of attachment to him; [add semicolon] she finds that she respects him and she sees a lot of herself in him.

This sentence is also a bit confusing:
Daphne returns to Toronto and meets up her adopted parents on impulse yet again, and being restless, goes back to Montreal to meet her aunt.

I tried to rewrite it and realized I wasn't exactly sure what you were saying. :-)

The novel consists of characters that are portrayed realistically, and are made believable through [delete t] their real-life situations.

He seems to be aware that he has a problem, but out of sheer stubbornness, does not tell the doctors about it.

Her portrayal of all characters, whether major or minor, makes the book very interesting as each of them are shown to be on their own path to self discovery.

I think your essay is persuasive. However, simply adding "definitely" and similar terms does not make it more so. In fact, it detracts. I'd rewrite the ending like this:

The plot is eccentric yet terrific. McWatt has taken an unusual approach in portraying her characters and the theme is one with which the reader can easily connect. The superior writing displayed in Out of My Skin makes it the clear the winner for the Pearson/Canada reads award.

I hope this helps!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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