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The Critique Essay “Life in Inches”

A written piece titled as “Life in Inches” seems to be written by a desperate girl who has not lived an easy and calm life. It resembles a scream from the bottom of the author’s heart. If one assumes that the editors are the audience, the work does not look appropriate for this particular audience because of a few reasons.

Firstly, it seems that the appropriate audience should be girls who are thirteen to eighteen years old. The impression from the reading lets assume that the piece of writing was written by a teenager. This assumption comes from the combination of a simple form with emotional expressiveness. It is well-known that teenagers usually have some kind of emotional chaos in their heads. This piece of writing confirms this statement. If the audience is teenagers (or women – most of them are also more emotional than men), the audience is right.

Secondly, it is necessary to consider that it is an editor who will read this piece of writing. Editors are usually well-educated people who might have a negative attitude to illiteracy. The matter of illiteracy takes place in the written piece: at least one obvious mistake is here: personal pronoun ‘I’ is not written with the capital letter. If the appeal of the author is like “please help me with my poor grammar”, the audience is right; but if the appeal concerns emotional experience, it may happen that editors’ critical thinking will hinder to feel the passage deeply. Concerning punctuation, the situation is similar: there are no commas, full stops or other punctuation marks. The text looks like a stream of consciousness.

From the literary point of view, the piece of writing requires significant edition. It is not quite clear what kind of literary work it is. It is written like a poem – in column; however, there is no rhyme. Of course, poetry admits blank verses. However, a verse should contain some figures of speech, such as metaphors, epithets, and others. The only literary device used in the text is simile – a simple comparison made with the help of prepositions ‘as’ and ‘like’.

Most likely, the purpose of the piece of writing is rendering the authors emotional state and experience to others. The author has achieved this purpose: reading the passage, the reader learns about the author’s life and feelings. The literary work gives a possible image of the author – a sensitive girl with a low self-esteem; the lines concerning self-hatred confirm this. The purpose of any literary work is to make people think and feel.

The author distinguishes different stages of life in connection with her hair. In childhood, a person can neither choose the hairstyle, nor make other important decision – everything is controlled by the parents. Getting older, a person gets more freedom in decisions. In middle school age, the character changes the hairstyle (and may be the way of life) because of other people’s opinion. Finally, when the author (most likely a girl) establishes herself, she grows her hair long. This may symbolize some kind of freedom and calming down. This is the moment when a person stops looking at others because the world where she feels comfortable is finally found.

The written piece lacks some poetic elegance, but it achieves the purpose of sharing thoughts and feelings. This is an honest narration describing the author’s physical and emotional experience. It seems like the piece of writing is not written for editors – it is written for like-minded people who can understand the author’s feelings; having read the work, these people may know that they are not alone – someone has experienced the same.

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