Narrative simply means “telling a story”. However, have you ever asked a 3-year old to tell a story? It goes on and on; it twists and turns, and sometimes never comes back. The problem with story telling? The listener can get lost or bored. For AP purposes, though, quick, brief story telling can have a significant effect.
Narrative, for AP, means “inserting an important anecdote” (AP word – look it up). More than likely, you will get an AP Prompt that says something to this effect: “Using personal experience, readings, or events, tell why . . .” That’s where this exercise comes in.
Look at the picture below, done by George Bellows, a professional baseball player turned painter. He considered himself one of the Lyrical Left, which focused largely on art as a social commentary, showing the brutality of American life. This painting is entitled “Swimming on the Hudson”, and I will let the details speak for themselves. Take a look at at and then follow the instructions below.
Before doing this, do Device 15 Section in Literary Devices Workbook and utilize it in your writing. When you use this device, WRITE THE SENTENCES IN ALL CAPS — that will show me you understand the concept.
Write a first person account as either
1) one of the boys in the painting, or
2)a person standing on the bridge above.
And write a feature paragraph that starts with the line, “I never knew freedom until . . .”
As you write, use a dialectical tone to relay the details, create a mood by using imagery, and give the universal lesson to be learned from your experience.