Literary Technique Comparison

Gail Godwin and Karen Van Der Zee are both prominent writers in the U.S.  Karen Van Der Zee was born and raised in Holland but now lives in the U.S and has contributed more than 30 novels to the popular harlequin. . Gail Godwin was born and raised in Alabama. She studied in the University of North Carolina and University of Iowa. They are both writers of fictional stories and though they both live in the U.S, each has a unique style that gives the leader a feeling of their delicate humanity with all of its sorrows and joys.

Karen Van Der Zee has written about sorrow and romance in her story “from a secret sorrow” while Gail Godwin writes about a sorrow in her story “a sorrowful woman”.  Though both the writers write about sorrow and romance, each depicts a distinct way of telling their stories.

Karen Van Der Zee uses short sentences written in the present tense. She uses a conversational tone though there is some form of narration. The narrations are short and written in present form.   She chooses words that elicit sorrowful emotions from her audience. For example, when Faye was telling Kai why she could not marry him, she said, “Because….because I can’t give you children! because I can’t get pregnant”.  As a reader, you get a feeling of the sorrow that Faye was going through.  Karen seems to enjoy using a conversational tone. The whole story portrays a conversation between Faye and Kai.

Gail Godwin uses a narration tone written in the past tense. In addition, her work is well organized in paragraphs.  She tells about a family that existed a long time ago. She elicits a feeling of despair with her words. For example in the first paragraph, she writes, “the site of them made her so sad, she did not want to see them ever again” Imagine a woman who has this kind of feeling towards her husband and child. She must be in total sorrow and despair. There are elements of romance in her writing. For example she writes, “the husband undressed her, abandoning her long enough to rock beneath the eiderdown for her flannel gown”. This elicits a sense of love and caring to the leader.

It would be impossible not to address the ways each story refers to intense emotional pain. Karen portrays that Faye cannot get pregnant and so is rejecting Kai marriage proposal. You can feel the pain in Kai heart caused by the rejection. He says, “Oh God, Faye,” he gowned, “I love you”. Kai is in emotional pain. Godwin narrates about the family experience. The woman seems to be losing connection with the husband and child. Though there is little description of the emotional pain they all are going through, as a reader I can feel it. For example the phrase, “I don’t think I can see him anymore, she whispered sadly to the man”.  You can feel the pain the woman has as she tells her husband that she does not think that she can see the child again.

Both the writers are addressing sorrow, emotional pain, and romance though using different styles. Karen Van Der Zee uses a conversational tone while Gail Godwin uses a narration tone. Both works elicit similar emotions to the reader.

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