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Literature & Language
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What the Extract Reveals About the State of Mind of the Speaker (Essay Sample)


Use the document attached below to respond to your Mock Paper One. Please CHOOSE ONLY ONE: the poem OR the prose selection from A Mercy. Begin with a proper left-justified heading: your name, my name, the class name, and the date. Use proper multi-paragraph structure, clearly state your assertion about the extract (what is the poet/author trying to say in this extract and what elements of poetry/fiction/layers of understanding does he/she use to express that point), and work your way methodically through the extract from top to bottom, commenting on the authorial choices and literary features. Please support your assertions with quotes from the extract using the line numbers provided (the line numbers are on the PDF -- Google Docs won't show them, unfortunately). Remember: use elevated, professional tone and diction throughout your essay. Your essay should be double-spaced, and it should have a centered title that reflects the content of your paper. Submit your completed essay here and on your e-portfolio under Summatives.


A Mercy: Prose
What the Extract Reveals About the State of Mind of the Speaker
The extract begins by the speaker being appreciative. He is appreciative of the importance of the woman he has in his life. The speaker has had to confront many issues his whole life (Stave & Justine 138). It seems that over the years, the speaker has had a negative opinion when it comes to women and yet, his wife has been somewhat different. In line 1, the speaker notes, “His own Rebekka seemed ever more valuable to him the rare times he was in the company of these rich men's wives, women who changed frocks every day and dressed their servants in sacking”.
The speaker seemed to have been resigned to marrying any woman because he never believed he would have the opportunity to get a beautiful hardworking wife as noted in line 5, “He had been willing to accept a bag of bones or an ugly maiden – in fact expected one, since a pretty one would have had several local opportunities to wed”.
As the story develops, the speaker appreciates more and more the value and capability of his wife. He had his reservations about the kind of lady he had expected to marry. For him, he never really expected that any kind of lady would meet all the desired qualities and yet somehow, Rebekka came along as an ideal lady (Stave & Justine 122). What he wanted of a woman and what he got was an exact match. One might be tempted to say that the speaker is more than contented and cannot believe his good fortune on the kind of lady he got for a wife. As noted in line 12, “There was not a shrewish bone in her body. She never raised her voice in anger. Saw to his needs, made the tenderest dumplings, took to chores in a land completely strange to her with enthusiasm and invention, cheerful as a bluebird.”
At the end, the speaker showers more praise on his wife. He notes that even after losing three kids in a row, she never changes one bit. She remains as obedient and hardworking as ever. The speaker knows that he can go about his duties without worry of what is happening at home because his good wife has everything under control. He is ever more appreciative.
The Setting and its Importance
In terms of place, the story is set in a large estate of land held by the speaker. T

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