Comparison between Baldwin and Green

Essay by jennmarie0219 February 2006

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Part I.

Graham Greene's "The Lost Childhood" begins with a very short paragraph consisting of only two sentences and averaging a length of 33 words per sentence. The length of the first paragraph's sentences is more than the normal length of an average sentence comprised of 21 words. He also has fewer sentences than a typically found in a paragraph. His second sentence in the paragraph, which makes up the majority of the paragraph with 51 words, still effectively uses clause structure to develop his ideas: " ... but we are more likely to find in books merely a confirmation of what is in our minds already..." (13). He goes on to make a simile adding to the length, which he could have cut down by simply making his comparison to two separate sentences. His next paragraph consists of an average of over 31 words per sentence, again overstepping the modern regular sentence length.

However, the clause structures in the sentences of the second paragraph still work. Although Greene becomes too wordy in some of his sentences, his ideas are conveyed with little confusion.

Greene does use Latinate words, but does not seem to overuse them. In the first paragraph, the majority of the Latinate words are familiar, including influence, admires, entertained, modifies, confirmation, affair, features, and reflected. Most of the words are understandable to the average reader. His second paragraph uses the Latinate words divination, future, fortune, journey, influence, revelation, interested, expectation,etc. Although there is a moderate usage of Latinate and Greek-derived words, it does not seem to create a comprehension problem when reading the essay. The Latinate words that Greene uses have enough familiarity to readers that it really does not bog his readers down. Although he does not use many unfamiliar Latinate words, the ones used still...