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Engish Composition, Lesson 15. Probability; Theme 6

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Not everything that the imagination may furnish is equally worth expressing. If you choose to write about something for which imagination supplies the ideas, you may create for yourself such ideas as you wish. Their order of occurrence and their time and place are not determined by outward events, but solely by the mind itself. The events are no longer real and actual, but may be changed and rearranged without limit. An imaginative series of events may conform closely to the real and probable, or it may be manifestly improbable. Which will be of greater interest will depend upon the reader, but it will be found that the story which comes nearest to reality is most satisfactory. In relating fairy tales we confessedly attempt to tell events not possible in the real world, but in relating tales of real life, however imaginary, we should tell the events so that everything seems both possible and probable. An imaginative story, in which the persons seem to be real persons who do and say the things that real persons do and say, will be found much more satisfactory than a story that depends for its outcome on something manifestly impossible. He who really does the best in imaginative writing is the one who has most closely observed the real events of every- day life, and states his imaginary events so that they seem real.

Theme VI

Write a short theme, using one of the subject below.  You need not tell something which actually happened, but it should be so told that your readers will think it might have happened.

  1. A trip in a sailboat.
  2. The travels of a penny.
  3. How I was lost.
  4. A cat’s account of a mouse hunt.
  5. The mouse’s account of the same hunt.
  6. My experience with a burglar.
  7. The burglar’s story.