An Interlude Essay

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“An Interlude” The John Gardner’s fiction excerpt “An Interlude” from the novel October Light is a literary narrative portraying young love relying primarily on description. Gardner’s excerpt could be called a love scene, but it is hardly traditional or cliché. His main purpose seems to be to create similarity between the two characters by giving physical descriptions of Margie and Terence, and describing the setting they are in. The writer’s main tactic is simple literary narrative, as he illustrates the short interactions between the young boy and girl who like each other. In one of Dr. Polnac’s comments on the excerpt, he says “Gardner creates verisimilitude…” throughout the narrative between Terence and Margie using physical, characteristic, and setting description. At the beginning of the narrative, Gardner introduces Terence Parks in a bedroom fiddling around with his French horn “emptying water from the tubing.” In the same room, Margie Phelps is introduced sitting on the side of the bed “with her hands on the flute in her lap.” This visual imagery of their behavior already let’s the reader hint that the two are shy even if Gardner left out the sentence “He was as shy a boy as ever lived, as shy as the girl seated now on the sagging old fashioned bed.” He includes this sentence to create the feeling of similarity between the two. Gardner then gives their facial descriptions and their attire. He uses a simile to describe Margie’s “silver-blonde hair falling straight past her shoulders, soft as flax.” The following sentence supporting her shyness describes her face as “serious, though she was prepared to smile…” Terence wore “glasses without which he was utterly helpless,” and had “a small chin.” The words “utterly helpless” and “small” lets the reader visualize someone perhaps the opposite of a big guy with an independent, confident, and outgoing
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