Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gesture Response

My response is on Gesture by Francine Prose.In the beginning of her essay she defines gesture as "small physical actions, often unconscious or semi-reflective, including what is called body language and excluding larger, more definite or momentous actions." Along with this she cites examples from novels describing the gesture of characters helping the reader understand the setting, the personality of the characters, and the plot of the story. Prose gives us a passage from Joyce's, "The Dead." We can see simply by the dialogue between the two characters Lily and Gabriel, the class distinction between both peoples- a difference as Prose puts it of gender and power. Another example of gesture Prose discusses that I found interesting is her mention of a story in Isabella Rossellini's memoir, where the actress calls her former husband to tell of her being left by her lover. Her outer show of affection, her telephone call to her ex-husband, conceals and displays the passion and remorse she feels. Gesture is a powerful tool in story telling in which we can tell the psychology of the characters. Simple descriptions and actions can convey much along the lines of plot and its significance. By reading this essay I am given many ideas on how I can use gesture to build my story and create depth of my characters, and create the meaning I want to portray to my readers.

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