It is hard to talk about our deepest fears, traumas, and insecurities. When you are a celebrity, it is hard to keep those things a secret. For years Emilia Clarke has kept her brain aneurysms a secret, but now she is ready to tell her story.
Clarke’s personal history essay for The New Yorker is raw, unfiltered, and an excellent piece of writing. Not only does she tell her story, but she narrates the most traumatic events in her life as if you were standing next to her the whole way. The reader feels a sense of privilege being allowed to glimpse into her thoughts and feelings. Even if you have never experienced a level of trauma equivalent to Clarke’s, you can still relate to her on a human level. She feared the loss of her hopes and dreams, but worse, she feared for her life.
Not only is her story compelling, but her writing is too. Clarke uses simplicity and strong storytelling to her advantage. By using simple language and captivating narration, almost anyone can relate to the article. The essay doesn’t sound like a celebrity; it seems like another average person telling her incredible story of survival and perseverance.
While reading, Clarke flashes between three different times in her life: what she is doing today, when she had her aneurysms, and her childhood. These changes happen abruptly, but she seamlessly transitions from one point in her life to the next. Her story flows, even when she uses past and present tense.
Despite all of the trauma and pain Clarke had to endue, the tone of the piece remains positive. Even when Clarke is describing the slight loss of cognitive function, she jokes that it robbed her of a”good taste of men.”
Her essay is objectively an effective piece of writing. Not only does she address her fans, but she also presents herself as a role model. Her experience makes her stand out, but her writing makes her relatable. Effective writing is a cohesive logistical flow of ideas or narratives. Clarke’s essay was not only cohesive, but it progressed naturally from one event to the next.