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Critical Summary Of Descriptive Mode


The present report has discussed about the summary and extract taken from George Lukacs, 'Narrate or describe?' In this summary, a critical abstract has been presented which helps in understanding the comparison of narrating and describe. In this sense, a deep overview of the subject has been done which demonstrates that George has given more importance to the narration. Apart from this, the following extract will be connected with the Great expectations created by Charles Dickens as well as Middle march written by George Eliot.

Task 1

1) Critical summary

As per Lukacs, there is a great difference between narration and description of a novel or any other writings. He has written two famous novels of Zola's Nana and Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. In both novels, he has presented his great art of writing skills which makes the reader bounded with a story (Madison, 2011). Further, in both of his novels, he has made a discussion about Horse races which makes an attempt to describe the brilliancy. Thus, he has made an effort to describe the importance of narration more than description.

Lewis and Ferretti, (2011) have stated that a description of a story gives an overview of the subject, its characters as well as its all significant aspects. Thus, the reader reads the description and makes a point from this. Similarly, narration depicts away with a special art in which the entire story is told in a particular way that makes a complete sense with more of a feeling in the narrator as well as the reader. The narration is related to special effects in which storyteller makes a description of all the characters, and insight of the tale, etc. From the narrations, the writer makes an explanation in such a way that the reader becomes intact with the entire story and can have the feeling of the whole story as if he/ she is present there (Toolan, 2012).

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In Zola's Nana written by Lukacs, he has described the details of the race in a precise and colorful way. Apart from this, the major difference between both narration and description is, the former one uses first form or 'I' perspective while telling the story which makes a better connection of reader with the story. Further, Rosebury, (2016) has stated that narration also puts an essence of realism in the tales as it depicts that writer has felt and experiences the explained things on its own. While on the other hand, the description does not make any such attempt and goes on with a simple explanation of the story.

As mentioned in the novel of Zola's Nana, he has described the scenes and with a mood and appearances that make the reader immersed in the story. While the narration describes the viewpoint of a storyteller. As in the present novels, the writer has described the scenes with a dramatic view.

Example of descriptive mode

The descriptive model of novels can be depicted in the Great expectations written by Charles Dickens and in George Eliot's Middlemarch. In both of these novels, the writers have used the method of descriptive mode in telling the story. In Middlemarch, the writer has used the way which has been criticized by many of the writers and critics, as in this writing there are various forms that depict the obscure literary terms (Hagström, 2012). This novel has not described as a typical novel because in simple terms, novels are those writings, in which there is a relationship between all the characters which are canvassed in a beautiful way. There is no such finding in the said novel. It just merely described the characters in a disdain manner. Apart from this, in the novel, one great thing has been described by Eliot.

She has described the entire scene of marriage which also depicts the end of the novel. In this description, she has portrayed the realities of marriages which make readers have an insight into the truth and realities of the practical world. Thus, this novel described the story and its characters in a beautiful way though it has been criticized by many critics as well due to the use of obscure terms (Morss, 2013).

On the other hand, the Great expectations, which are written by Charles Dickens is another example of a great description of the story. Here, the entire plot surrounds various characters according to which, a description of romance and love has been portrayed. It has many characters and each one has been displayed with a great role. It described the entire story with a mixture of crime, revenge, reward and guilts as well which is the potential to make reader fall in the story with a feel. According to Bhabha (2013), the description of the entire story shows various dimensions so that readers can have a feeling of the story. It gives the details of the entire story in a sensory detail so that the reader can have a full understanding of the story.

However, in the present case, Lukacs has favored more to the narration style as it gives an overview of the entire story as per the writer's view. This makes the understanding of the story much easier and better. Apart from, this, it is not necessary that only the writer's views are depicted in the story, this can also be made with the help of anyone character in the story. In other words, any of the characters in the story can also be used as a storyteller so that the reader can have better connectivity with it (Lewis and Ferretti, 2011).


From the above summary, it can be concluded that there is a certain difference between the narrations and description. It can be inferred that narration plays an important role which helps to carry out an effective explanation during an appropriate experience. It can be stated that narration is helpful for summarising a story as it gives a purpose in order to tell the events to the reader. Further, in the description, there is the use of sensory details in which it describes an appropriate scene to the reader. Thus, it can be summarized that narration is effectively work in the critical summary.


  • Bhabha, H.K. ed., 2013. Nation and narration. Routledge.
  • Hagström, L., 2012. ‘Power shift’in East Asia? A critical reappraisal of narratives on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands incident in 2010. The Chinese Journal of International Politics.
  • Lewis, W.E. and Ferretti, R.P., 2011. Topoi and literary interpretation: The effects of a critical reading and writing intervention on high school students’ analytic literary essays. Contemporary Educational Psychology.
  • Madison, D.S., 2011. Critical ethnography: Method, ethics, and performance. Sage.
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