A COMMON LABORER
He stood by the roadside, with a relaxed pose,
taking deep drags off of his cigarette. His faded jeans,
worn smooth by years of hard use, were filled with
holes and smudged with dirt from the job site. His
heavy boots were laced tightly, and caked with mud:
multiple layers of stitching showed that they had been
repaired countless times. His shirt was tied loosely
around his waist, flapping in the cool breeze. His hat
was pulled down tight over his head so the wind
wouldn’t carry it away, the visor shielding his eyes from
A NERVOUS MAN
The instant I knocked, he pulled the door open
fiercely. “Come in,” he muttered quickly, looking at the
floor, obviously preoccupied. Before I could say
anything, he asked, “What took you so damn long?” I
opened my mouth to respond, but a short, sweeping
motion of his hand cut me off. He told me to sit, and
then went about his business, which apparently
consisted of rearranging every item in the room.
Although he was quite busy with this task, it changed
nothing: he moved his lamp or his desk chair into five
different positions each before ultimately deciding to
put them in the same position they were before.
A RICH WOMAN’S HOUSE
A personal assistant opened the gate for me, and led me though an orchid garden (complete with a hand-carved stone fountain) to the mahogany front door, which creaked ominously as he turned the gold-plated knob. “She will be with you in a moment,” he said, and hurried off, leaving me standing next to a coat rack draped with an array of fashionable scarves and overcoats. The soft light from the diamond chandelier was reflected on the floor, which was tiled with granite important from Italy. I whistled softly to myself, impressed, and a little bit overwhelmed.
1. Same conventions as last time (250 words, double
spaced, proper heading, hardcopy due next class)
2. Subject: “An unpleasant encounter.” This can take
many forms: you may describe, for example, a meeting
with an angry boss, or being robbed by a thief.
A) Briefly, the location and your overall impression of
B) The appearance of the person. Try to give a unified
impression using sensory description.
C) Use dialogue to demonstrate how the person speaks.
D) Describe the action. What does the person do? How
does it reflect the personality that you have already
established (part A)?
*If you need help with describing the appearance or
other characteristics, refer to pages 54-55 for a
comprehensive list of categories to choose from.