Joyce Maynard in The Four Generations has skillfully described her grandmother as a frail individual who used to be so dynamic once. Her style of writing makes her script colorful and does not let the reader get bored. She uses simple words yet implies deep meanings. In addition, not only does she bring examples to show the characters but she also uses the exact quotations to express the very same idea of them. Joyce Maynard’s strong ability to portray moments is another admirable skill of her in writing.
Her use of words in simple sentences clearly shows the characteristics of her grandmother. We can realize that her grandmother was a naughty energetic woman who “cracks” nuts and was able to lift a car off the ground. She was also emotional, since she used to “weep” every time she had to say goodbye to her children, and nurse her relatives of her generation and even though she was old enough to forget everything, she wrote down notes to remind herself of her granddaughter and her child whom she had not seen yet.
Instead of imposing an idea, Joyce Maynard brings examples to let the reader know her grandmother better. We can get from the text that she was determined. Though she never had much money she did not hesitate to let her daughter take piano lessons and elocution lessons; moreover, she sent her to college. We can see how caring she was, by paying attention to even a one-year-old child to see whether anybody takes care of her. And her physical power is stated when Joyce refers to a car accident where her grandmother lifted the car.
The use of quotations is a good element to make her script more colorful. Many times Joyce brings exact words of her grandmother. To let the readers know her grandmother by her own tone of speaking. To show that she believed to be different -and in fact she was- Joyce repeats her own words at the illness bed when she was suffering from pancreatic cancer:” Now I am different. I’m yellow. ” And to show her firm character she states ” I’m not always like this. ” Even though her grandmother had said she was ready to die, what she said in her last words to Joyce was ” I wish I had your hair” and ” I wish I was well. “
When Joyce wants to depict her grandmother’s powerlessness in her last days, she mentions her body movements in a way that the reader can imagine it in all ways. Just like a puny baby, her grandmother waved to Joyce’s child in a kind of slow, finger-flexing movement and got the same reply from the little kid. Her way of speaking also shows that she wished to be better and enjoy the little child’s presence.
Finally Joyce illustrates the loss of her grandmother in a way that her own mother has lost a source of kindness and love. Her use of language and simple words and vivid examples and quotations made her essay more effective and powerful. She leaves the readers concentrating on the idea that once a mother passes away her beloved child is not a daughter anymore but just a mother who unquestioningly loves her own daughter.
Courtney from Study Moose
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