Side Quest

Imitate the sample below…  Choose one of the passages from Martin that you annotated (NOT the one used in the sample below). Answer the questions from the AGWR that one should ask oneself when reading fiction. Then fill out a chart detailing some of the choices the author makes with his writing and how you think those choices affect the audience. Then, based on that analysis, say what mood you think Martin is trying to achieve with his audience. SAMPLE “All the while the courses came and went. A thick soup of barley and venison. Salads of sweetgrass and spinach and plums, sprinkled with crushed nuts. Snails in honey and garlic. Sansa had never eaten snails before; Joffrey showed her how to get the snail out of the shell, and fed her the first sweet morsel himself. Then came trout fresh from the river, baked in clay; her prince helped her crack open the hard casing to expose the flaky white flesh within. And when the meat course was brought out, he served her himself, slicing a queen’s portion from the joint, smiling as he laid it on her plate. She could see from the way he moved that his right arm was still troubling him, yet he uttered not a word of complaint. Later came sweetbreads and pigeon pie and baked apples fragrant with cinnamon and lemon cakes frosted in sugar, but by then Sansa was so stuffed that she could not manage more than two little lemon cakes, as much as she loved them. She was wondering whether she might attempt a third when the king began to shout.” ____________________________ Who is speaking?             The narrator, but it’s Sansa’s point of view. What is happening? What is the situation?             It’s a royal feast of some kind–there is a king mentioned, and she calls Joffrey her prince. What just happened in the story?             Something worth celebrating, because there’s this feast celebration happening. What will happen next?             Something bad. The king is shouting, and that can’t be good.   Choices Martin Makes                                                Effect of those Choices on Reader     series/list separated with and instead of commas “sweetgrass and spinach and plums” “sweetbreads and pigeon pie and baked apples fragrant with cinnamon and lemon cakes frosted in sugar,”   all of the conjunctions–the ands–make the writing sound a little breathless, as if there is so much that you have to say it all at once–this contributes to the idea of excessive food at this dinner. ALSO: the second example lists fancy food, which says this dinner is high quality as well (and b/c there is so much of it, contributes again to the idea of excess)  having Joffrey feed Sansa/help her with actually eating — “Joffrey showed her how to get the snail out of the shell, and fed her the first sweet morsel himself.” “her prince helped her crack open the hard casing” “he served her himself, slicing a queen’s portion from the joint, smiling as he laid it on her plate.”   tells the reader that Sansa is not very worldly or experienced with fancy food. Also tells the reader that Joffrey likes to be in control–he feeds her like she is a baby. You could interpret that as he is being gallant and romantic, or that he is being creepy. Might also tell us Sansa is passive. She is like the food, though–at the mercy of Joffrey. the food Joffrey feeds Sansa is all encased or confined “get the snail out of the shell” “trout fresh from the river, baked in clay”   This gives the reader a feeling of being trapped. Everything is confined, not only the food, but also Sansa. She can only eat what he feeds her, and he has to get it out of its cases/shells for her.  a lot of really long sentences The reader is a little overwhelmed by the experience, like Sansa is. We–and she–are supposed to be a little intimidated. …all of this leads me to think that the mood Martin is trying to establish in this scene is a feeling of being overwhelmed and overstimulated. It’s a little intimidating.   NOW YOU DO IT.  Pick one of the other excerpts, pick at least three things that you notice in the writing–adjectives, grammar and syntax, what is being described–and then talk about how those choices on Martin’s part affect the reader’s opinion/feelings.

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