More on Coherence

In this post, a published paragraph’s coherence will be analyzed. The paragraph is from page 13 of The Twilight Warriors by Robert Gandt, an excellent book about the fight for Okinawa during the Second World War. The numbers in parentheses are not in the original. (Pasco was a naval air station used to train aviators in a town with the same name.)

(1) Flying was the only thing the cadets liked about Pasco. (2) The remote base was enclosed with a galvanized wire fence. (3) There was nothing there but a few two-story barracks for the cadets and for the enlisted men who worked on the yellow-painted Stearmans. (4) The town of Pasco had no bars, no entertainment, and, worst of all, no available women. (5) The closest real town was Yakima, a two-hour bus ride away, but the cadets had learned that Yakima wasn’t much of an improvement over Pasco.

Coherence Analysis

  1. This sentence comments on flying at Pasco.
  2. By substituting “remote base” for “Pasco” and then describing an aspect of it, the author connects sentences 1 and 2.
  3. The second “there” in “There was nothing there” is used as a fill-in for Pasco: it’s a pronoun functioning as an adverbial. Sentence 3 provides more details about the base.
  4. “The town of Pasco” is this sentence’s connector given that the air station name starts with “Pasco.”
  5. This sentence contains two connectors. The first is “closest real town,” which connects with sentence 4’s “town.” The second is “Pasco.”

Gandt’s paragraph is an excellent example of how to effect coherence within a paragraph.

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