By S. H. Burton (auth.)

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Their challenge (' Come on. Come on. ' Sethe and her living daughter are the helpless victims of her dead daughter's 'powerful spell'. This passage is a very good opening of a novel. It introduces the characters and sets them in vividly-described surroundings. The situation in which they are trapped grips the reader's interest and is made the more tense by being conveyed in hints rather than being fully explained. By so skilfully creating and maintaining suspense in this way, the author calls on us to use our imagination.

Throughout your preparation, you mu t take time to think and pl an before you begin to write. Similarl y, you mu t allow time for read ing th ro ugh and correcting our an wer. Ignorance! Not knowing your subject is the surest way to get a poor grade. But some candidates who do know quite a lot about their books and authors still find it hard to reach a high standard in the examination. In later chapters, you will be shown how to avoid the mistakes that are made most frequently when answering particular kinds of questions.

B) Then, partly by 'flashback', it provides sufficient (but no more than just sufficient) information about setting, situation, characters and past and present events to excite our interest and arouse our expectations. This 'expository' section of the passage draws us into the lives of people whose terrible situation compels our concern for them. (c) Then comes the dying of Baby Suggs (see note iii). (d) After Baby Suggs' death (and, it seems, as a consequence of it) there follows the tense incident when Sethe and Denver challenge the tormenting spirit, whose identity is now revealed to us.

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