Here's an Essay I had to do for my LA class. Does well-written mean a good story?
| Like a young country coming of age with electricity in the 1930’s, Jim is a young man coming of age during the Depression. This tale is told in the brilliant book Jim the Boy by Tony Earley, set in Aliceville, North Carolina. Because Jim the Boy has an interesting plot line and is well-written throughout, it is considered a good story. “Wood smoke; biscuits baking; the cool rivering smell of dew.” (Earley 1).
The story is set in 1930’s North Carolina. Main character Jim finds himself on his tenth birthday wondering who his dad was. Even though he has his mom and uncles to support him, he still feels like a part of his life is missing. Interest in the story increases when school starts and Jim meets Penn Carson - a mountain boy. This is the main conflict. Jim is at first hesitant when getting close to Penn, but they become friends when Penn gets polio. This is inner conflict. On Jim’s eleventh birthday, he gets his first trip on the mountain to see Penn and feels better afterwards. He next goes to see his dying grandfather - who doesn’t recognize him. This relates to the theme of the book because Jim is facing his fears. He realizes how big the world is and how he is just a boy. It appears to be a good plot because all the necessary parts are there - setting, conflict, action, climax, and resolution.
This story also has very good imagery. Imagery paints a picture in a reader’s head, it’s descriptive, awakens the senses, and helps the reader visualize what is happening. Jim the Boy has some very good examples; “The insides of his forearms were red and raw-looking, and the front of his overalls was shiny and tacky with tree sap.” (Earley 111). The story also flows well and is organized chronologically. It is even more interesting because there are flashbacks, memories, and even letters from years before. It has somewhat easy word choice and interesting characters. Many readers agree that one of the best parts is when Jim and Zeno see the ocean. “Where a wave, and then another, slid up over their ankles. The water is warmer than Jim had imagined it would be. A fish no bigger than a thought swam by his feet; when he wiggled his toes, it vanished, as if made of light.” (Earley 69). Overall, Jim the Boy is very well-written.
In order to make Jim the Boy a good story, Tony Earley had to give it a good plot and also make it well-written. The story contained many interesting conflicts among its characters. It also has several uses of imagery throughout, giving it style and character. In the end, it seems to be a very good story, and this answers our initial question: does well-written make a good story? The answer is no. A novel needs to have a good plot and be well-written to be a good story. One of the best lines of this tale is, “The blackbirds come out of the northwest in a great, raucous, glittering stream.” (Earley 134). All ages will love this book.