Friday, July 30, 2010

the power of description

“There was an air of sullenness in them both, and particularly in the girl; yet, struggling through the dissatisfaction of her face, there was a light with nothing to rest upon, a fire with nothing to burn, a starved imagination keeping life itself somehow, which brightened its expression. Not with the brightness natural to youth, but with uncertain, eager, doubtful flashes, which had something painful in them, analogous to the changes on a blind face groping its way.”

This short paragraph, describing a character in one of Charles Dickens' books, tells us more about her than what she wore, how her hair was dressed or even what color her eyes were. Two sentences. That's all there is and yet, don't you feel you know this girl?

If you know her name and what book she appears in, I'll send you a book mark - just for fun.


  1. Don't know who she is but the passage is poetic. I wish I could write like that. Nice.

  2. yes, Dickens does have a way with with words.

  3. The book was Hard Times - one of mt favorites - and the character was Louisa Gradgrind.


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