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begun, and how can their parallelism be indicated ? Each line may be carried through, and then all related into the whole; or one line may be followed out for a short distance, and then dropped to take up another, fixing the relations as the parts progress. Which is better the circumstances will determine. In either case the reliance must be in a firm grasp on the relation of the parts to each other and to the whole ; so that whatever course is pursued, the unifying idea may be held constantly and steadily before the mind.
The foregoing thought movement constitutes a universal outline for the process of narration. .
The object to be narrated:
1. As a whole under the relations of
II. As composed of parts.
1. Analysis into parts by the laws of partition.
To narrate an object is to set it forth under these relations. Which of them to choose, and the order and completeness with which they shall be presented are determined by the purpose and the conditions under which the effect is to be produced.
THE PROCESS ILLUSTRATED.
Construction. — Suppose we are to construct a narration on the subject, “ The Stamp Act.”.
1. First applying the law of purpose, let it be determined to give definite instruction ; not simply popular information, but accurate, systematic knowledge of the subject, — the scientific grade of narration. Only so far here, however, as necessary to illustrate the process.
2. The law of unity requires the process to be bounded, and the unifying idea determined upon. The time, the place, or the means to the changes might be selected, but our purpose requires the most fundamental unifying idea, — namely, that of the purpose of the changes. This must be followed by the relations of time, place, cause and effect. These define the process as a whole, as conditioned by the determining purpose.
3. Next, the parts of the whole must be given as determined by the relation of the changes to the purpose. The parts must be the changes in the one change which the purpose manifests in the progress of its realization.
4. Lastly, the parts must be shown in their organic relation to the whole change. This will involve for each part the thought relations under which the whole process was viewed.
Formulating for the purpose of testing the process it stands thus :
1. Purpose of the Stamp Act. — To secure a revenue from
the colonists ; to make the colonists help pay the expenses of the government of England because it had helped them
fight against other nations.
a. Desire to establish the right of taxing the colonists.
any attempt to collect a tax in the ordinary way. 5. Effect .a. On the part of the Americans. (1) Made them want representation in the parlia
(4) Expressed their indignation in many ways.
(1) Were compelled to repeal the act.
(2) They sought other ways of taxing the colonists. 6. Parts. a. The discussion of the plan of taxation.
(1) The necessity of the revenue from the colonists. (2) The belief that the colonists should be taxed
without the consent of their legislatures. (3) The advantages of putting the tax in the form
of stamps. (a) The ease and certainty of its collection. (6) The difficulties of resisting its collection.
(C) The low price of the stamps.
It will be readily observed that the course pursued is true to the purpose of writing stated at the outset. If the points were amplified, as they should be in a regular treatment of the subject, the reader would gain accurate, systematic knowledge of the subject. The intellect would be informed, rather than the emotions aroused or the will moved.
Unity is secured by choosing the adequate unifying idea of purpose. This gives a definite current to the movement at the outset. Unity is further secured by giving the space and time boundaries of the whole. Unity is further secured by presenting the changes in the order of their occurrence, and by organizing each change into the whole. The relations of the whole define the whole, and the subordinate parts are shown in their subordinate relations. Unity in this case is difficult to maintain, for there are parallel, coordinate movements, also, coördinate purposes, times, places, causes, and results. This difficulty is always found in narrating a conflict. Each of the parallel movements must be kept distinct from the others, and due notice must be given when the attention is to be transferred from one to the other of the coördinate relations or parts.
Purpose and unity are obeyed by giving all the changes in the series. How far to carry out the changes into minute detail can be determined only by a more specific statement of the purpose and the conditions.
Let the purpose in the above example be changed from instruction to emotional experience, and the use of the material given in the outline would vary greatly from the above. The unifying idea would then be found in the emotions, and logical coherence would be largely disregarded. The thought relations would be left incomplete, the matter would be presented in the progressive order of its power over the emotions, exciting incidents would take the place of cause and effect, and completeness would be given to features now only touched upon.
Interpretation. — Let the selection be “ The Miller and His Son,” in “ Aesop's Fables."
1. The purpose of the selection must first be ascertained. By a perusal of the selection it will be readily found that this purpose is to move the will, — to cause the reader not to shape his conduct to suit the whims of other people. At first thought it may appear that the author intended only to instruct, — to teach the truth that he who tries to please everybody pleases nobody, and besides, loses something himself. But every one knew this before, and the full concrete form in which he presents an already well-known truth makes it clear that he wishes to impress a lesson to the end of resolution and action.
2. The example by which the writer sought to accomplish his purpose is the mind of the miller. This he presents as changing ; hence he accomplishes his purpose by means of narration, but by the narrating of a fictitious event. The unity of the theme must be found in the changing mind of the miller. The other changes, as the mounting and alighting of the son and father, and the attempt to carry the donkey, are subor