Style Guide 1: Critique and Praise for Harmonia


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        Harmonia is a story that follows Diana, a young women, as she quits farming and transforms her cornfield into a music festival destination after the death of her father. It’s a coming of age tale that shows Diana discovering a way to incorporate her love for music into her carer. The opening passage for scene one does an excellent job constructing the framework for the story while explaining essential exposition. It creates an appropriate situation to drive the story forward. Within this first block of writing, the main setting of the narrative is described, future events are foreshadowed, and certain aspects of symbolism and contrast are used.

        The introduction is told from the perspective of someone related to Diana returning after years away.

“I stayed with my… niece… as I was her only family left… it was my responsibility to make sure my niece was coping well…”

This line explains the relationship between this character and Diana. Despite the connection, the character being followed in this passage is minor and does not significantly appear in later events. Starting the narrative with an outside source places the audience in a situation that allows for lots of information to be given without becoming excessive. It also separates the past from future events, such as cooperating with the railroad and forming of the music festival, Harmonia.

        The first sentence, “The year was 1957…”, develops the setting.  As the year is set it creates the sense that the narrator is reflecting. Also, this particular time holds significance since it’s a period of change. This is indicated by the use of specific dates and topic changes that effectively shift the emotions of the reader.

“Those times… brought me so much joy. Finding beauty in solitude was easy when I was in the presence of a natural wonder such as the corn field; however, June 29th, 1957 was different. I came back to Indiana to attend my beloved brother’s funeral”

(thePHEONIX, et al. Harmonia, sc 1)

The quote introduces a pattern of contrast that will continue throughout. It quickly moves from nostalgic descriptions of “the green cornfields” to the after effects of Mike’s death.

        Aside from vivid descriptions, there’s parallelism and contrast involving Mike and the events that follow his death. It’s stated that farming was not Diana’s passion, but she continued it to honor her father. This is a sacrifice she made for her family. Although, the lines “…the crops had died with him. The… cornfield had become a brown sea of death” reveals that there’s little hope. Its purpose is to let readers know Mike’s time, and his farming legacy, is over. This gives Diana the opportunity to chase her dreams and revive the field with new ideas. Other sections of the passage that foreshadow interference from the railroads. In the passage, railroads are overtaking the land and there’s  a discussion about selling.

        The initial mentions of railroads, passion, and death each set up a significant portion of the plot. The diction, varying tones, and the introduction of vital plot elements within the passage were all choices made by the author to organize ad begin the narrative. They aided in shaping a suitable atmosphere for a story of this genre.


Harmonia.” BrianChong, the PHEONIX, vdman, brandonlee. Storium. act 1 scene 1. web.

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