Choose a novel or short story which has a particularly effective or arresting opening.
Referring in detail to the opening, discuss to what extent it provides a successful introduction to the text as a whole.
Title, author, date
Gist of story – dehmanised family and effect
Essay intention = Effect of opening on whole story
Problem with technology – explain the nursery
Increased neuroses of all
Killed by lions
5 lines of dialogue that highlight some of the main concerns
Line one = “I wish you’d take a look at the nursery”
Problem with a scene that is usually idyllic – sets up the fall of idealized visions that pervade the story.
Nursery – close connection with children – likely problems with children.
“What’s wrong with it?” “I don’t know.” “Well, then.”
George is satisfied that nothing is wrong
Not interested in difficult or challenging scenarios
Develops later in conflict with his children
Cannot bring himself to admonish his spoiled progeny
Ultimately, this causes his death
“…or call a psychologist.”
Links mechanical problems to problems in thought/ psychology.
Indicates that the story is set in a future or alternative world where these two are linked.
Later developed by the role of the children – able to communicate with tech.
Shows that Lydia feels there is a problem in thought.
Reveals her own neuroses
Irony – the nursery was supposed to quell neuroses
Economy of writing – a lot revealed in five lines
These form the main themes he develops
A dramatic, thought-provoking start
Bradbury’s use of simile/ metaphor
Link the opening to his ideas concerning conflict between man and machine
The tension is created at the start and does not let up until the foreshadowed events come to fruition
Explain that the opening is key to establishing themes, tones, characters, hooks and plot.
It quickly, succinctly, puts the reader in the centre of the story.
Makes the story effective in delivering its larger messages about man/ machine and parents/ children.