English pd. 9
What certain qualities are necessary to create an excellent literary work? What makes one
work impossible to put down while another work is difficult to stay focused on? There are several
key elements essential in making good work outstanding. These key elements are: interesting
characters, an intriguing plot, a valid theme, and a carefully structured conclusion. These are the key
elements of a literary work that I am going to focus on and explicate for you.
The characters in “Witness for the Prosecution” are believable through the author’s vivid
descriptions and through what Mr. Mayherne says about the characters during his interviews with
them. For example the author described Romaine as a foreign woman with high cheekbones , dense
blue-black hair, and a nervous twitch in her hands that is distinctly foreign. The narrator went on to
say she is a strange, quiet woman, who is so quiet that she made visitors feel uneasy. The author is
also very detailed with her description of Mr. Mayherne. The narrator depicts him as a small precise
man, who is neatly dressed and recently had his boots shinned. She also said the most striking
characteristic of Mr. Mayherne is his shrewd and piercing gray eyes. From his brief encounter with
Mrs. Mogson, we found out that she was scared with sulfuric acid by Romaine’s boyfriend and has
been bent on getting revenge on Romaine. Plausible characters and vivid description make this story
more interesting and add to the plot of the story.
The author of “Wine” was very non-discriptive about the characters. This lack of description
makes the characters extremely difficult to relate too. The author never even gives her characters
names. She just refers to them as a man and a woman. This total lack of detail makes it hard focus
on the story and often you find it easy to lose sight of what is happening in the story.
The plot for “Witness for the Prosecution” is clear, logical, and well-defined. The plot mainly
consists of Mr. Mayherne and Romaine trying to get Mr. Vole aquitted of the charges that he killed
Emily French. The most interesting twist of the plot in this story is that Romaine lied to the jury to get
Mr. Vole aquitted of the charges.
By contrast there is no real plot for “wine”. The man and woman are sitting at a cafe for no
apparent reason talking about their first kiss. The man tells the truth to the woman about his first kiss
and she gets upset with him. I thought this was an interesting point of contrast because in “Witness
for the Prosecution” Romaine lied and won the court case for Mr. Vole , but in “Wine” the man told
the truth to his wife and was ridiculed by her.
The theme of “Wine” and “Witness for the Prosecution” almost seem to directly contradict
each other. The theme foe “wine” is the truth can be painful at times, whereas the theme for “Witness
for the Prosecution” is that liars do not always get caught. The theme for “Wine” was hard to
understand, because the woman gets upset at the man for no apparent reason when he tells the truth.
The theme in “Witness for the Prosecution” is easily understood because it is clearly spelled out in
the conclusion of the story.
The conclusion of “Wine” is very unclear, poorly developed, and not focused. It leaves a lot
of unanswered questions in the reader’s mind. This completion never tells the reader what happens
to the couple or why the woman is mad at her husband. The only thing the reader learns from this
conclusion is that the wine the husband and wife are drinking reminds them of their youth. This
opaque conclusion only adds to the lack of purpose in the story.
The conclusion of “Witness for the Prosecution” is very focused, well developed and it ties
up all the lose ends of the story. The completion of this story reveals that Romaine is disguised as
Mrs. Mogson and it was Romaine’s false testimony that got her husband aquitted of his murder
charges. The conclusion of the story tells the reader everything that Mr. Mayherne knew and draws
an excellent ending to a great mystery.
After carefully contrasting the key elements in “Wine” and “Witness for the Prosecution” it
has become apparent that “Witness for the Prosecution” contains the qualities necessary of a great
literary work. “Wine” is lacking too many of the key elements essential in making a good literary
work. The differences between the two the two stories makes “Wine difficult to stay focused on
because it is lacking in many of these key areas. While having many of these key elements well
developed throughout the story makes “Witness for the Prosecution”, one of those stories that are
truly a pleasure to read.