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(Code and Color Key)

Bending and/or Breaking the Rules
From "Beauty and the Beast"
in My Book of Favorite Fairy Tales
Analysis Key

    Some people might object that exercises like this one ask students to read the writer's mind. But punctuation is a code -- it has to be "read" by both writer and readers. My explanations may be a guess, but they are guesses of the type that most careful readers will make.

     But she knocked three times [NuA] | [#1] and the gate opened {by magic}, | 

and she went {through the garden} and hurried {to the Castle}, [Adj. to "Castle"

that shone {like fire} {in the light} {of the setting sun}]. | And the huge gates opened

{by magic}, | and the doors opened {by magic}, | and she stood {in the great 

hall}, | but there was no Beast (PN) there. | She searched {in all the rooms} | [#2] 

but he was not there; | [#3] {with fear and anxiety} {in her heart} she ran {into the

gardens}, | and there she found him (DO) {at last}. | Found [#4] him (DO) 

lying stretched [#5] out {on the grass}, | and she thought [DO he was dead (PA)]. |


Notes
1. In the sentence, "and" is used twice to separate three main clauses. Perhaps the first "and" is not preceded by a comma to make the connection between the two clauses closer. The first two main clauses involve "opening." They are logically connected in what Hume would consider both time and space. The comma after the second "and" thus separates what happened once she was inside from those acts that got her there.
2. Comma tend to slow things down. Does the lack of a comma reflect Beauty's sense of haste and anxiety at the poor result of her search?
3. The two preceding (joined) main clauses describe her search inside the castle. Does the semicolon separate the inside from the ouside "gardens?
4. Just as blood rushes to a wounded area of the body, so attention is drawn to violations of the rules of punctuation. In this case, the fragment results from the lack of the subject, "She." The fragment, however, is easy to understand (as one reads) because it starts with the repetition of the preceding finite verb. (It is almost an appositive.) The stylistic effect is to emphasize "Found," found after all that frantic searching. Imagine the subject "She" in front of "Found," and you will probably agree that this "found" would be much less emphatic.
5. "Lying" and "strectched" can both be explained as gerundives to "him." At KISS Level 5.8 - Noun Absolutes, some people will prefer to see "him lying stretched out" as the core of a noun absolute that functions as the direct object of "found.'