Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sentence Imitation

I find Orwell's variety in sentences as a pivotal element of his writing style. Having had mentioned in "Why I Write," that he's grown concise as an author, it shows in his consistent use of shorter sentences: composed of fewer words, clauses, and phrases. Orwell aims for unambiguous meaning, believing words should not be expressed unless they draw a definite idea of what the words mean. However, not only is Orwell's concise syntax both compelling as well as clear, but concise syntax is not the only structure he follows within his essays. Orwell reverses between the short and long syntax structures often, however, even the lengthier sentences are constructed to exhibit nothing but perfect clarity. He wants clarity not just in the sense that his words are easily understood; Orwell wants perfect clarity in the sense that readers are not just understanding, but reasoning with the exact argument being delivered. In attempt to not overdo sentences and paragraphing--all the while being specific--Orwell uses elements such as stylistic repetition of an apposition, brief/simple prepositional phrases, or em-dashes and colons, to characterize content. Nonetheless, Orwell does write in the abstract, no matter the concrete language he promotes. Personally, I admire this prose style, for I strive for structural improvement in all pieces that I write.

"Shooting an Elephant": pg. 261

Original sentence:

"I looked at the sea of the yellow faces above the garish clothes -- faces all happy and excited over this bit of fun, all certain that an elephant was going to be shot."

Main clause (SV): I looked >
Prepositional phrase: at the sea >
Prepositional phrase: of the yellow faces >
Em-dash/repetitive apposition: faces >
Adjectives: happy and excited >
Prepositional phrase: over this bit >
Prepositional phrase: of fun > 
Apposition: all >
Dependent clause: that an elephant was going 
Infinitive: to be shot.


We yelled at each other on the way to school -- each other angry and flustered over something of utter insignificance, each other both positive that we were going to eventually be right.

"What Is Science?": pg. 382

Original sentence:

"They are not told, as they should be told, that everyone else -- from the professor in his endowed chair to the platoons of postdoctoral students in the laboratory all night -- is baffled as well."

Main clause (S-BE-SC): They are not told >
Dependent clause (repetition/epistrophe): ,as they should be told, >
Dependent clause: that everyone else >
Apposition interruption (5 prepositions): from the professor in his endowed chair to the platoons of postdoctoral students in the laboratory >
...Cont. dependent clause (BE verb): is baffled baffled.


She was thrilled, as anyone would be thrilled, that her team -- with the coach as the team's father to the players in all their gratitude of having this family -- were champions of the WNBA.

"Why I Write": pg. 417

Original sentence:

"Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-four I tried to abandon this idea, but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I should have to settle down and write books."

Opening prepositional phrase: Between the ages >
Prepositional phrase: of about seventeen and twenty-four >
Main Clause (SV): I tried >
Infinitive (bridging the object): to abandon this idea >
Simple conjunction: but >
Main clause (SVO): I did so >
Prepositional phrase: with the consciousness >
Dependent clause: that I was outraging my true nature and >
Dependent clause (switching of tenses): sooner or later I should have >
Infinite: to settle down and write books.


Within the years of her depression and his anxiety they worked to mend one another's hearts, and they achieved this through mutual experiences that they had been experiencing and that one way or another they were to open up and talk about them.

"St. Cyprian's": pg. 165

Original sentence:

"Any lesser person would have been called a dirty little beast and ordered out of the room instantly: but Sambo and Flip laughed it off in a 'boys will be boys' spirit."

Main clause (SVO/2 verbs): Any lesser person would have been called a dirty little beast and ordered >
Prepositional phrase: out of the room >
Conjunction: : but >
Main clause/parallelism: Sambo and Flip laughed it off >
Prepositional phrase: in a >
Quoted common idiom: "boys will be boys" >


Every overachieving student should have at least considered a brief relaxing break and followed in meditation methods: but roommate and I stayed stressed with a flawed "never cry over spilled milk" attitude.