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"The Bargain" ; John strikes a bargain with a beggar to replace each other

yongen_92 1 / 1  
Feb 18, 2007   #1
hi this is my first post. I need help with this essay. The title is The Bargain. my idea is that John strikes a bargain with a beggar to replace each other. he then realiises that family is important. I have a word limit of 1600 words.


"John Tan, 33. Still single and unattached, looking for a fun-loving, caring and kindly lady. Good looking, loves sports, has a strong romantic streak. Call 9347688."

The ad appeared in the newspapers, causing much consternation amongst the neighbours.
Amidst gossip, the neighbours further added another piece to the jigsaw that was their impression of him. Now, besides knowing that he was of indeterminate racial mix, drew a good salary, liked to collect vintage records, and had several unprintable dirty habits, the neighbours also found out that he supposedly felt lonely and was looking for love. This was the sole topic of conversation over the next few days in town, with many self-appointed "news professionals" chatting animatedly over his merits and vices. Some thought that he was likely to make a good husband, swearing by the mantra "Marriage can change a man". Others thought that he would cheat on his prospective wife and have physical relationships with other women, predicting that he would not stop his aforementioned dirty habits. Yet others expressed their opinion that nobody would respond to the ad. The coffee shop owner, being the consensual king of gossip in town, could be heard repeatedly quoting the famous joke, "Every man should have a woman for love, sympathy and companionship, preferably living at three different addresses".

John Tan was some of these things. He was a typical yuppie, living in relative comfort with sufficient income to provide for material pleasures. He took pleasure in pursuing several points of pride, such as golfing, socializing (chatting up hostesses in bars) and generally getting on with the rich, prim and proper upper class of society. He believed in conforming to society, going with the flow and embracing what society believed in. In other words, he followed the singlehood trend which was gaining popularity at that time.

John Tan did not have marriage in mind. Fed up with his relatives' constant veiled references to his single status, he placed the ad in the newspapers, hoping that his relatives would be satisfied and leave him alone. He preferred the joys of solitary living. No putting up with others' mess. No putting up with others' bad personal habits. No putting up with any infringement of personal space. And best of all, no putting up with waiting outside the bathroom while others took their time.

Unfortunately, it was that time of year again. The dreaded, mind-numbing terror known as Chinese New Year. The scary, scary time when inquisitive relatives would invade his home for a few hours every year. Cousins, half-brothers and sisters, uncles and aunties, grandparents-----They would all run amok through the carefully dusted and decorated living room, destroying the calm and peaceful ambience of his home. They would bombard him with questions like "How are you?", "Where have you been?", and the worst question of all, "Why haven't you married?". He hated them all with a vengeance.

i apprecieate any help. Thanks.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Feb 18, 2007   #2

I like the way you start with the neighbors' perspective before presenting John's point of view; it provides a nice contrast. It does occur to me to wonder, though, if John is so tidy and private, how do the neighbors know that he has "several unprintable dirty habits"? Perhaps this will come out later, but it did catch my attention.

The only other thing I noticed was a little bit of extraneous puntuation in the last paragraph:

grandparents-----They would all run amok - This is an example of an em dash. Since most word processors do not have one on the keyboard, the usual way to type it is with two hyphens--like this--rather than the five you have. Do not capitalize the "T" in "they" following the em dash, as it is considered part of the same sentence.

"How are you?", "Where have you been?", and the worst question of all, "Why haven't you married?". He hated them all with a vengeance. - You have a bit more punctuation here than you need. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, when two different marks of punctuation are called for at the same location in a sentence, the stronger mark only is retained:

"How are you?" "Where have you been?" and the worst question of all, "Why haven't you married?" He hated them all with a vengeance.

I notice that you are using British English and it is possible that the rule is different for you, but, although British rules regarding placing punctuation outside quotation marks vary from American rules, as far as I know you would still not use a comma or period after a question mark.

I enjoy your writing style. Keep up the good work!


Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP yongen_92 1 / 1  
Feb 19, 2007   #3
Thanks for the help. I'm currently taking a break to celebrate CNY(i'm singaporean, and i don't think american/british english matters). I'll post the completed essay before 1st march.

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