English Lesson 130

“How could I adopt Northup’s technique of using contrasts?”

Northup was a freeman that was kidnapped and taken to the south and sold as a slave.  For 12 years he was a slave and the same year he was sent back to the north, was the same year he got his book published.  Northup had a great memory, photographic memory.  He was a good carpenter and also made a fish trap that was made from wood to get food for the night.

Back in Canada (that is where I lived for 9 years) we had a trampoline which was fun to jump on and play games.  One of the games we played was: one person would jump on the trampoline, well the others would be out side of the netting.  The door was opened and the people outside of the trampoline would throw a ball at the person on the trampoline, and if the person gets hit, the thrower and the jumper would switch, and the game goes on.

Another game was that two people would jump on the trampoline, and the rest of the people are out in the yard.  The net is on the trampoline and the door closed.  The people outside would throw the ball over the net and try to hit the two people on the trampoline.  The two jumpers had to try and catch the ball before it hit the ground, and if they touch the ball and it hits the ground they have to switch with the thrower.

“In the autobiography Northup used contrasts when he described people with opposing views or when he described good and evil. In my autobiography I would use contrasts in the same way Northup did. When  Northup used contrasts they let him describe the two sides in a way that it was obvious who was right and wrong. This made it so that he didn’t have to flat out say who was right or wrong, he let the reader make the decisions which is a good technique. That is why I would like to use this technique. It gives the reader evidence and descriptions and allows them to choose.”  –18joshuaspringfield

“First, I’ve got to be able to recognize and pick out contrasts in my life. One example would be the rowdiness, distractions, and time-wasting of public school versus the quiet, focused, ‘time-well-spent’ environment of homeschool. Once I’ve found contrasts like this, I need to identify whether or not that specific contrast is useful in my autobiography. If I can pick out the more stark, sharp, clear contrasts, then I should probably use those, instead of ‘blurry’ contrasts. Second, I need to place these contrasts in meaningful spots in my autobiography. Using a contrast about school in the middle of a chapter on photography wouldn’t make much sense. However, if I were describing my transition from public school to homeschool, this contrast would be logical, and helpful.” –Life, School, and Other Things


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