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[TOEFL] the portrait of Jane Austen; Integrated Writing

joyhu 9 / 22 5  
Aug 30, 2013   #1
Need everyone's help! I am going to have the test on September,1.
I am sorry that it may need you more time to read my essay.
With the experience last time, I put the reading passage and the lecture's script below.
Thanks for any advise!!! =)

Jane Austen (1775-1817) is one of the most famous of all English novelists, and today her novels are more popular than ever, with several recently adapted as Hollywood movies. But we do not have many records of what she looked like. For a long time, the only accepted image of Austen was an amateur sketch of an adult Austen made by her sister Cassandra. However recently a professionally painted, full-length portrait of a teenage girl owned by a member of the Austen family has come up for sale. Although the professional painting is not titled Jane Austen, there are good reasons to believe she is the subject.

First, in 1882, several decades after Austen's death, Austen's family gave permission to use the portrait as an illustration in an edition of her letters. Austen's family clearly recognized it as a portrait of the author. So, for over a century now, the Austen family itself has endorsed the claim that the girl in the portrait is Jane Austen.

Second, the face in the portrait clearly resembles the one in Cassandra's sketch, which we know depicts Austen. Though somewhat amateurish, the sketch communicates definite details about Austen's face. Even though the Cassandra sketch is of an adult Jane Austen, the features are still similar to those of the teenage girl in the painting. The eyebrows, nose, mouth, and overall shape of the face are very much like those in the full-length portrait.

Third, although the painting is unsigned and undated, there is evidence that it was painted when Austen was a teenager. The style links it to Ozias Humphrey, a society portrait painter who was the kind of professional the wealthy Austen family would hire. Humphrey was active in the late 1780s and early 1790s, exactly the period when Jane Austen was the age of the girl in the painting.

The evidence linking this portrait to Jane Austen is not at all convincing. Sure, the painting has long been somewhat loosely connected to Austen's extended family and their descendents, but this hardly proves it's a portrait of Jane Austen as a teenager. The reading's arguments that the portrait is of Austen are questionable at best.

First, when the portrait was authorized for use in the 1882 publication of her letters, Jane Austen had been dead for almost 70 years. So the family members who asserted that the painting was Jane had never actually seen her themselves. They couldn't have known for certain if the portrait was of Austen or not.

Second, the portrait could very well be that of a relative of Austen's, a fact that would explain the resemblance between its subject and that of Cassandra's sketch. The extended Austen family was very large and many of Jane Austen's female cousins were teenagers in the relevant period or had children who were teenagers. And some of these teenage girls could have resembled Jane Austen. In fact, many experts believe that the true subject of the portrait was one of those relatives, Marianne Kempian, who was a distant niece of Austen's. Third, the painting has been attributed to Humphrey only because of the style. But other evidence points to a later date. A stamp on the back of the picture indicates that the blank canvas, you know the actual piece of cloth on which the picture was painted, was sold by a man named William Legg. Record showed that William Legg did not sell canvases in London when Jane Austen was a teenager. He only started selling canvases when she was 27 years old. So it looks like the canvas was used for the painting at a time when Austen was clearly older than the girl in the portrait.

In the set of materials, both the reading passage and the lecture are discussing about whether the woman in the portrait is Jane Austen or not. In fact, what is said in the lecturer challenges what is stated in the reading. So, the lecturer gives three firm reasons to oppose the arguments of the reading passage.

The first reason is associated with the permission of Jane Austen's family. It is shown in the reading passage that her descendants gave the permission of using the portrait as an edition of her letters few decades after Austen's death. However, the lecturer purposes that the thing happened seventy years after Austen's death, which means that the one who gave the permission had never see her before.

The second reason involves how the woman in the portrait looks like Austen. The statement held by the writer claims that it looks like Cassandra's sketch. Cassandra is the one who used to depict Austen. In contrast, it is argued in the listening part. And the lecturer gives an example that since she had a big family, she must have a lot of female cousins who are teenagers at that time and look resemble her, too.

The third reason involves the age of the portrait. While the reading passage indicates that the painting was painted at the time when Austen was a teenager. The lecturer points out that the reason why the reading passage stated that is only because if the painting style. In order to build a solid and concrete statement, the lecturer convinces us by offering the reasoning that when we look at the stamp on the portrait, the one who sold it had not sale things there until Austen was twenty seven years old. So, if the woman on the portrait was Austen she must look older than it is now.

In conclusion, at first glance, the argument in the reading passage seems somewhat convincing. However, based on the evidences that the lecturer provided, the lecturer refutes the points made in the reading part.

ARIA 16 / 43 1  
Sep 19, 2013   #2
Dear JOY HU first of all you forgot to put the question that you need to write about that.
second I suggest to review your writing after you finish that.this can help you to get ride of some small mistake that you might miss at your writing such as "... permission had never see her before" or " what is said in the lecturer challenges..".

your introduction with some trimming looks very good, while your other paragraph try to hook the point but in a complicated way.
I assume the question in this writing is " what are the points mentioned in excerpt which is refuted in lecturer comments?"
they are 3 :
1- the fact that the portrait of Jane Austen is original and represent her image is rejected by following reasons. (it can be in your introduction)

2-the portrait made by Ozias Humphrey was painted 70 years after Jane Austen's death, therefore the family members who affirmed the authenticity of the portrait had no idea how she was looked like. and portrait could be one of the relatives, such as cousin of the well known author. (see this two facts can be claimed in two separate paragraph.)

3- the portrait suggested in writing part be Humphrey's work just based on the style with no other authenticity such as name or signature, had a sign on its canvas which reveal the origin of that from a vendor named "William Legg" and it had proved that this kind of canvas was not marketed in London unless Austen was at the age of 27.

surely you have found these 2-3 facts but your style of explanation can not convey these results.
I think your problem is time frame and you try to write it at the allocated time. but I suggest first focus at a correctly answering the question then focus on your time management.

Keep trying and good luck.

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