Forms and varieties of prose | Meg 07 IGNOU Solved Assignment


Forms and varieties of prose

Forms and varieties of prose: Forms and varieties of prose | Meg 07 IGNOU Solved AssignmentProse is verbal or written language that follows the natural flow of speech. It is the most common form of writing, used in both fiction and non-fiction. Prose comes from the Latin “prosa oratio,” meaning “straightforward.”

Common Types of Prose

Prose can vary depending according to style and purpose. There are four distinct types of prose that writers use:

·        Nonfictional prose. Prose that is a true story or factual account of events or information is nonfiction. Textbooks, newspaper articles, and instruction manuals all fall into this category. Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl, composed entirely of journal excerpts, recounts the young teen’s experience of hiding with her family in Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II.

·        Fictional prose. A literary work of fiction. This is the most popular type of literary prose, used in novels and short stories, and generally has characters, plot, setting, and dialogue.

·        Heroic prose. A literary work that is either written down or preserved through oral tradition, but is meant to be recited. Heroic prose is usually a legend or fable. The twelfth-century Irish tales revolving around the mythical warrior Finn McCool are an example of heroic prose.

·       Prose poetry. Poetry written in prose form. This literary hybrid can sometimes have rhythmic and rhyming patterns. French poet Charles Baudelaire wrote prose poems, including “Be Drunk” which starts off: “And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room.”

The Function of Prose in Writing

·        George Orwell was known for his attitude toward plain language. He once said: “Never use a long word where a short one will do.” Prose can also:

·         Fulfill a story’s promise. In literature, the basic purpose of prose in writing is to convey an idea, deliver information, or tell a story. Prose is the way a writer fulfills her basic promise to a reader to deliver a story with characters, setting, conflict, a plot, and a final payoff.

·        Create a voice. Each writer has their own way of using language, called a writer’s voice. Using prose in different ways helps writers craft and show off this voice. Take Charles Dickens’ voice in David Copperfield as an example: “New thoughts and hopes were whirling through my mind, and all the colors of my life were changing.”

·        Builds rapport through familiarity. Prose is often conversational in tone. This familiarity helps connect readers to a story and its characters. Jane Austen was known for her straightforward, accessible prose. Take this line from Emma: “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”

A biography is the story of the life of a person. A biography tries to protect the personality of the subject. It helps the readers to share the person concerned’s hopes, fears, likes, dislikes, facts and fancies. In case of an autobiography, the writer is himself/herself his/her biographer. In this way, it tends to be more subjective.

Forms and varieties of prose: Events are seen, felt and understood through consciousness of the author himself/herself. It is another thing that with the passage of time, it may give much objectivity to the recollection. Again, in an autobiography and biography, there is a big difference, whereas an autobiography is more selective in the incidents it describes, a biography covers the whole life of the subject from the birth to death and even discuss his/her reputation after his/her death. An autobiography is no doubt incomplete, at the same time it is or in advantageous position of presenting events at first hand. The author/authress is in a position to write what he/she has experienced himself/herself.

Forms and varieties of prose | Meg 07 IGNOU Solved Assignment

A Travelogue is a description of the author’s travels. It is a sort of autobiographical account wherein the focus is on the places and people he/she has met in his/her travels and not on incidents in the writer’s personal life or his/ her personality. There is a very strong tradition of writing travelogues in the English writing. Addison, who is known to be the father of the periodical essay, wrote a travelogue. There are a lot of travelogue written in English literature by Indians. The first Indian writer of English literature Dean Mahomet also wrote a travelogue, “The Travels of Dean Mahomet through Several Parts of India” (1974)


Varieties of Prose

Uptil now, we have discussed the forms of non-fiction prose. Now, we shall concentrate on varieties of prose written by authors. There are three varieties of prose namely descriptive, narrative and expository. There can be no hairline distinction. An author is independent to use one, two or all the three forms of prose in a single passage. Narrative prose describes incidents and events. It deals with what happens with the passage of time. In the narrative prose, the attention is absorbed in the action. So far as narration is concerned, it can be slow or fast. The narration may be colourful, exciting and heightened or factual and matter of fact. Narrative prose can be both highly imaginative and thoroughly objective. A narrative prose can deal with external happenings or interpersonal relationships. The author is at liberty to narrate the changing feelings.

Emotions and internal events: Non-fiction prose-forms like travelogues, autobiographies and biographies deal with the narratives based on facts, whereas short stories and novels are the product of author’s imagination, but no hard and fast line can be drawn between non-fiction and fiction prose. One can find a great deal of historical facts in good historical novels. At the same time autobiographies can be full of imagination and the facts may not be so important. Fiction based on factual events can be seen. Such novels are called a “faction” (fact + fiction) or non[1]fiction novel. In “Cold Blood” (1966) by Truman Capotes novel, the basis of treatment is that of crime and punishment in Kansas. It is based on the interviews by the accused. “The Executioner’s Song” (1979) by Norman Mailer the term ‘true life novel’ has been used as the novel chronicles the life and death of Gray Gilmore, a murder, who demanded his own execution in Utah. Whereas, short stories and novels, have a big narrative voices, the narrative prose also finds an important place in the non-fiction also.

Forms and varieties of prose: Expository Prose: The use of expository prose is done to explain or define a subject under consideration. Works of scholarship religion, philosophy, science, technology, economics, history, commerce, political science. Expository prose presents details logically, clearly, concretely and in sequence. It is the objective of the author to present facts and ideas and narrate a story to describe something. Dynamic authors use a number of devices to make their subject-matter effective, for that, they use examples to illustrate their point of view, vary their tone from one of public rhetoric to one of personal conversation present analogies in support of their view point, narrate lucid anecdotes and use figurative language, such as personification, metaphor and similes. A lot of non-fiction prose is explicatory. Nevertheless, it means that expository prose has no scope in fiction.

Interesting Prose: There is one thing very clear lhat prose should be read as interestingly as verse. In analysing prose, the fiction of author should be closely examined – whether it is range of vocabulary or the usage of words. The structure and syntax of sentences must be given due attention, whether they are short or long? Does the author make simple senses or does he give preference to complex ones using many clauses and qualifying parenthetical comments. The rhythm of sentences need be closely examined, how the sentences flow. The style of the author is revealed by the use of punctuation marks and the structure of paras. The meaning should be kept in mind while analysing the style of author. The literary meaning of a piece of expression depends on the manner it is said. Apparent meaning does not constitute the full meaning of the text under consideration.

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