Jorge Lopez – Anthology Project

Jorge Lopez

Professor Rosen

English 2001

22 March 2018

Part 1: Retelling

There Was Once

 

“There was once a poor girl, as beautiful as she was good, who lived with her wicked stepmother in a house in the forest.”

“Oh good choice on setting it in a forest, but talk about the forest, like what about it?”

“You mean like describe it?”

“Yeah, details.”

“There was once a poor girl, as beautiful as she was good, who lived with her wicked stepmother in a house in a large forest where the only other sounds were scurrying squirrels and screeching jays.”

“Good but there’s something missing…oh talk about what made them poor”

“Like their lifestyle?”

“Yeah that could work”

“There was once a poor girl, as beautiful as she was good, who lived with her wicked stepmother in a old and rugged house, with broken windows and old creaking floors, poorly lit rooms and barely any furniture to work with, deep within a large forest where the only other sounds were scurrying squirrels and screeching jays.”

“Ohhh I could almost imagine it, you know what’s missing though?”

“What’s that?”

“A description of the girl that’s what, can’t just say she’s beautiful and leave it at that.”

“I guess you’re right.”

“I know i’m right, now get to it!”

“There was once a poor girl, as beautiful as she was good, with her long blonde hair and dreamy blue eyes and having a smile that would light the room, sadly lived with her wicked stepmother in a old rugged house, with broken windows and old creaking floors, poorly lit rooms and barely any furniture to work with, deep within  a large forest where the only other sounds were scurrying squirrels and screeching jays.”

“This is coming along nicely! Keep going though, think outside the box, what haven’t we added yet that we could?”

“Hmmm, maybe we could talk about her background?”

“Yeah yeah I like that idea!”

“There was once a poor white girl, who grew up sheltered from the rest of the world, not knowing much beyond what she’s seen, and as beautiful as she was good, with her long blonde hair and dreamy blue eyes, having a smile that would light the room, sadly she lived with her wicked stepmother in a old rugged house, with broken windows and creaking floors, poorly lit rooms and barely any furniture to work with, deep within  a large forest where the only other sounds were scurrying squirrels and screeching jays.”

“Wow it’s like i’m right there, you’re doing a nice job describing it but I feel that you can use stronger words.”

“How so?”

“Like for example, when you talk about the stepmother you use wicked.”

“And? What’s wrong with that.”

“Nothing I just think you can take a different approach when mentioning the stepmother.”

“Alright i’ll give it a shot…There was once a poor white girl, who grew up sheltered from the rest of the world, not knowing much beyond what she’s seen, and as beautiful as she was good, with her long blonde hair and dreamy blue eyes, having a smile that would light the room, sadly she lived in an old rugged house with her stepmother who was cold and heartless because she herself had been abused in her childhood, this home, this poor broken down home, with broken windows and creaking floors, poorly lit rooms and barely any furniture to work with, resided deep within a large forest where the only other sounds were scurrying squirrels and screeching jays.”

“This is great! Nice job!”

“You like it?”

“Like? I love it!”

“Well I couldn’t have done it without you, you’ve been a big help, thank you so much!”

“No problem! It’s the least I can do for you.”

Part 2: Thinking about retelling

There Was Once

The story “There Was Once” by Margaret Atwood is a story that revolves around a conflict between the person telling the story and the person listening to it. This conflict is due to the listener consistently criticizing and suggesting ways to change the story to make it more politically correct, which eventually aggravates the storyteller and they try to resist being told how they should write their own story. My re telling takes a similar approach but instead of the listener suggesting changes that take away from the story, they suggest changes that add to it, making it grow into its original intent.

In my version of the story I made the listener encourage the storyteller, motivating the storyteller to add on to it in different ways to improve it. Pointing out where details were missing and helping with the brainstorming in the creation process. A very different approach of the original where the listener would critique everything the storyteller wrote, patronizing them for their choice of words and format. My approach led to the story flowing in a different direction and actually allowing it to grow whereas in the original version of the story it falls flat with the storyteller ended up with less than what he had to start with. Both stories share similar relationships but revolve around different themes, for mine I aimed on the theme of growth and teamwork. Which again is seen all throughout my version as more is added to the story. In the original it’s more themed around tension and conflict, which can be seen with the listeners attitude towards the storyteller as they share their distaste for how the story was coming along.

In summary both stories share a similar relationship between storyteller and listener where one writes and the other gives feedback, but both take a different approach in how they do it. My version revolves around the listener adding to the story in a positive way by approving the storytellers decisions and encouraging, leading to growth. In the original it’s the opposite where the listener contributes negatively to the story, causing problems between them and the storyteller and eventually causing the story to die.

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