Fish Cheeks and I Want a Wife

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Category: English Composition

Date Submitted: 06/08/2014 02:02 PM

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Fish Cheeks and I want a wife

Ashford University: ENG 121

Professor Zeringue


Fish Cheeks and I want a wife

Virginia Woolf said: “A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain around us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out” (para. 22). The descriptive essay, Fish Cheeks by Amy Tan, and the narrative essay, I want a wife by Judy Brady both share the common objective of communicating to their readers. However, Fish Cheeks is more effective than I want a wife, in terms of storyline, details, and emotion.

Comparison in Storyline:

First, both essays have interesting titles that make the reader want to continue reading to develop a conclusion. A great title is important to the storyline, because it is the story’s first impression. It will either create anticipation or disinterest. Amy Tan used the title Fish Cheeks in her essay to tie into the lesson of the storyline. For example, then my father poked his chopsticks just below the fish eye and plucked out the soft meat. “Amy, your favorite,” he said, offering me the tender fish cheek” (Tan, 2013, para. 5). Although she wanted to disappear because of embarrassment years later she understood what was being taught to her. In comparison, to I want a wife Judy Brady’s title makes the reader question why do you want a wife? Brady’s title creates an unrealistic picture of a typical wife exaggerating to make her point. Even though it creates an unrealistic picture of a typical wife it effectively proves her point in the essay. However, both essays did a great job in creating and finishing their storyline.

Comparison in Details:

Secondly, both essays use of descriptive words and language help the reader to feel connected with what each author is expressing and telling. Effective description requires using carefully chosen language that creates the visual image you want readers to have of your story’s subject (Connell & Sole, 2013, pg. 122). Tan is able to...