【明報專訊】AS a follow-up to 2016's smash hit anime Makoto Shinkai's Your Name, Weathering with You displays a more intense love story between two young characters — a troubled high school freshman Hodaka and his relationship with Hina, the "100% Sunshine Girl" who has the supernatural power to control the weather. Besides the recurring motif of teen romance, the movie is fascinating enough to present more than one major theme, with innocence being the dominating one. It is not surprising to see J.D. Salinger's classic 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye appearing in one of the scenes in the movie, and the novel shares some common themes: grief and frustration, the painful transition from adolescence to adulthood, and the metamorphosis of innocence into experience.
Seeing two similar literary texts sharing so much in common, you may sometimes want to draw a comparison between the two in your essays or support your argument in your essays with the help of a quote from a literary text. But what is the proper way to put a quote in an essay? Let's take a look at the following examples:
1. Incorporating a short quote directly into your paragraph
When you incorporate a quote into a paragraph, you may consider writing like this to help the reader understand the quote and the reason you are using it:
Through the contrast in the characterisation of Hodaka and Keisuke, anime director Makoto Shinkai illustrates clearly that "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." Being a passionate teenage dreamer from a remote hometown living in a well-developed urban city which could not understand him well, the desperate Hodaka tries to save Hina regardless of the consequences.
This is a witty way of crafting your essay by linking your ideas with the quote you intend to include.
2. Omitting words to shorten a direct quote
Sometimes you may want to show your focus by using part of a quote to support your argument in your essay. In this case, you may consider using ellipsis (...) to replace the words you want to cut out. However, you should be aware of keeping the original meaning of the text. Let's see how I end this article below:
According to Mr Antolini in The Catcher in the Rye, "... you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behaviour... Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now", so you are not alone and you do not need to feel like the whole world has misunderstood you or abandoned you.
Besides Mr Antoloni's advice from The Catcher in the Rye, the theme song "Is there still anything that love can do?" in Weathering with You has also crystallised the essence of this message: Perhaps there is only one simple yet sophisticated thing that teenagers need when facing all the uncertainties in life — love.
By Joyce Tam
Experienced English teacher.