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ENGL 110- Unit 2: Writing Effective Narrative Essays

Aug 7, 2023

Unit 2: Writing Effective Narrative Essays

Choose one of the narrative essays you were assigned to read this unit and make an argument for why it was effective. Did it entertain? Did it teach you something new or important? What was it about the essay, specifically, that made it work, and how might you employ similar strategies in your own writing? If you felt that all of the essays you read in this unit were failures, then choose one of those essays and make an argument about why you think it failed. Where did it go wrong, and what lessons can you apply from this to your own narrative writing?

Unit 2: Writing Effective Narrative Essays

‘A Hanging by George Orwell, as a narrative essay is successful because of the vividness, it reflects. Each and every frame of the story has been described with authenticity. Its entertaining aspect was the irony it contained. The narrative essay teaches a lot about irony. The irony that Orwell inserts in the story was encompassed in the concept of life and death. Here, the narrator is seeing, a man getting his life ripped out from him, and is visibly shaken up about it, but does not want to show it outwardly, as men are very egoistic individuals. This egoistic element adds amusement to the piece, as these men laugh, about a fact like death even though they are uncomfortable (Zeidanin, & Shehabat, 2021, p.20). At one point the narrator himself says that he doesn’t really know the reason behind his laughter. The laugh is generated to hide the fact that these people are scared, even in the midst of their authoritative demeanor, they are scared out of their wits about death. Something that as a writer can be taken as quality from this piece is this imposter-like behavior. Nothing produces more humor than human behavior, the ingenuine attitude men here show, can be brilliantly assimilated in any story.


Zeidanin, H., & Shehabat, A. (2021). Revisiting the Concept of Freedom in George Orwell’s A Hanging and Shooting an Elephant: A Postcolonial Perspective. International Journal of Arabic-English Studies, 21(1).

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