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Essay Analysis Assignment

ENG4U0
Michael Mohamed
Should Animal Be Used in Medical Research – The Pros and Cons
Ronald G. Calhoun and Anne Doncaster

Type: This is an argumentative essay because it offers both the pros and the cons to animal medical research. It is
also more scientific in its basis of argument, using many statistics and examples at times.

Purpose: The purpose of this essay as a whole is to show the varying sides of whether or not animal research should
be done. On a more individual basis, the first part tries to show why animal medical research has been one of the
most useful means for scientists to study human sickness and develop medicines; the second part attempts to use
ethics and morality to attempt to make the audience feel as if animal testing should not be done, sometimes
explaining examples of how it is done.

Audience: Anyone who is interested in animal testing, most likely with some scientific background, or possibly
with some activist activity or interest in activism in the past. For people who are neither, it could also just be written
by those who like to see two opposing sides of an issue and compare them. More likely than not the reader will
already have an opinion developed on animal medical research, the essay may be designed to show them the
opposing view in an attempt to convince them of it.

Tone: For the first essay, the tone begins aggressively by making animal activists out as being hypocrites,
jeopardizing the medical industry and directly attacking them at times for the purpose of fulfilling their own
misguided morals. The tone then changes to being less aggressive and more rhetoric, explaining many examples of
how animals have been able to help medical research (pigs being used for burn treatment, rodents being used to
study aging, etc). The second part of the essay begins by stating bluntly the cruelty of the scientific community in
animal testing; it aggressively attacks the scientific community as being unethical and follows with a few examples
of how animals are mistreated (electrocution, drug addiction, genetic manipulation etc). This side of the argument
may not sound convincing because of the lack of statistics or examples of actual laws/research explained it its
argument against the Canadian Council on Animal Care, but the same can be said of the previous argument in terms
of explaining the actual conditions and laws practiced. I would say the second side of the argument sounds far less
rational than the first and highly dependent on philosophical and scientifically irrelevant opinions.

Language: The language used in this essay uses some scientific terms, however these are mainly in reference to the
diseases that animal testing has helped to cure, many of them well known. The vocabulary used is appropriate for
those in high school or post-secondary education.

Mood: In both cases, I would say the authors sound very argumentative and didactic. On the science side, the arguer
explains several diseases and statistics that they believe could not have been made possible without animal testing, a
certain times sounding as if they are preaching at the reader and completely outraged by the behaviour of animal
activists. The ethical side of the argument seems to constantly use morality and ethics as an argumentative point,
seemingly attempting to 'guilt trip' the reader into believing their side of the argument as being superior; virtually
every argument is based on the idea that human lives and animal lives are equally important, making any other
belief seem unethical.

Voice: I would say in both cases, the authors seem to be angry and with one another's sides, showing a more
dissenting perspective when talking about the opposing side. The scientific side seems to think that activists take
advantage of the benefits that have been wrought for them thanks to the breakthroughs that animal testing brought,
as a result they seem very condescending when talking about them. The ethical side of the argument likewise seems
to take scientists as being liars and manipulators of both people's opinions and the lives of animals, opposing them
wholeheartedly as being immoral killers.

Literary Devices:
– A metaphor used in this essay would be the comparison of animals used for research to prisoners in WWII
who were incarcerated and used for testing by German and Japanese scientists. This can be considered a
very high exaggeration on the part of the writer; as most people would not take caged animals to be
considered this way. The animals are not being discriminated against either; it simply makes sense to use
them for testing when human testing would endanger their lives.
– Both arguers can appear to be using hyperbole; in one example the scientific side of the argument states
that animal activists have place the same value of life on a rodent as they would a human, in an example
from the ethical side the author states that 'the unavoidable conclusion' is that inflicting damage upon an
animal is as ethically incorrect as it would be to inflict damage onto a human.
– I would say that both of the sides of the argument in this essay show an extremely high bias towards their
own sides, the pro-scientific side seems to demonize the activists as taking advantage of all the gifts that
have been granted to them thanks to medical research, thinking that they are insane for equating the lives of
animals with those of humans; the arguer seems to sardonically wonder whether or not the activists would
hope that animal-research based medicines could help them if it was their lives on the line. To compare, the
arguer from the anti-animal testing sides seems to think that the scientists completely lack ethics in terms of
the way that they treat animals, believing that they are trying to fool people by making them think that a
human life is any more valuable than an animal's, also claiming that the way that animals are treated in
research centers are extremely inhumane.

What TV Does to Kids


Harry Waters

Type: This essay would appear to be rhetorical based on the decided one sidedness of its arguments backed up by
teaching some of the effects that television has on youth; it seems to be designed specifically for the purpose of
convincing someone of something.

Purpose: To show to readers through behavioural evidence in children and likewise through examples of
possibilities of entertainment besides television. The author appears to be strictly opposed to the way that
broadcasting has somewhat destroyed the imaginations of children everywhere.

Audience: There seems to be a strong parental bent in the writing here as much of it is directed at the parents of
children; the author seems to believe that many parents of children have simply given up on disallowing their
children from watching television, using it as a second parent at times. I think that the author may also want children
themselves to read this article as it may encourage them to watch less television. Another possible audience would
be behavioural psychologists who may use the essay as a resource on citing information about the effects of
television on children.

Tone: The tone used in this essay seems to be one of a slightly humorous persuasion given the numerous references
to television clichés (example: “And now a word from our sponsors”) as well as the beginning which creates a
fictional story of a child who has been exposed to television seemingly all his life. I would say the voice used overall
is mostly humorous with some sarcasm, although there is an overtone of concern for the future of children. There is
a somewhat didactic tone used in terms of the way that the author is simply teaching the audience certain facts about
the behavioural research performed on children.

Language: The language used here is not particularly difficult, everything used is within the understanding of
middle to high-school students I would say. Even when referencing scientific research, most of the vocabulary is
defined immediately after the usage.

Mood: The mood is surprisingly humorous for an article which seems to be discussing an 'epidemic in education'
taking place in terms of the things that children are/aren't learning. I would say that at times the author seems to be
upset with the current results of what is happening to children, at other points such as the example of a family
without television at the end the author seems to be more hopeful that a better future can be achieved for children in
the long run if they do have parents that attempt to distance them from television itself.

Voice: The voice used in this essay seems to switch between being humorous to being more seriously concerned
with the kind of education that children are exposed to over time. At some points he makes jokes at the expense of
actual television shows such as the Brady Bunch, at other points he seems to be pointing out a lot of scientific
evidence of cases where exposure to television reduced creativity in children. I would say that at times the author
sounds preachy about his point that television is not a good influence on children, although he does give it credit as
being able to help develop vocabulary in children. I think that through the author's writing though the theme that he
genuinely cares about the future of children does show through his explanation of one family that completely stops
watching television.

Literary Devices:

– At one point in the essay the author personifies television as being a 'shining blue parent' in terms of the
influence that it can have on children who in many cases do not have a parental figure with them at all
times (it could be said that the role of being a parent is at times relinquished to the television); this seems to
imply that parents are not just being irresponsible parents but forfeiting their parental duties onto an
inanimate object.
– An example of hyperbole used would be the author saying that the “link between TV violence and
aggressive behaviour in society has had a longer run than 'Gunsmoke'”, which results in being both a play
on the subject matter at hand and a slight exaggeration of either the length of Gunsmoke's run or the length
of the study of violent behaviour in society linked to television, depending on how you look at (or which is
actually longer).
– Another example of hyperbole might be the introduction to a child at the beginning of the essay, who
reputedly learnt to spell “Sugar Smacks” before his own name and whose first polysyllabic utterance was
“Brady Bunch”, and who has also tried to karate-chop his sister for breaking his Six Million-Dollar Man
action figure.
– A form of bias is used in the way in which the author explains the influence of commercials on television,
the descriptions show some signs of figurative language in the way that Saturday and Sunday morning
advertisements 'peddle sugar-coated cereal, candy, and chewing gum, hooking children on poor eating
habits before they have the mental defences to resist.” This is immediately followed by a citation from
attorney Sid Wolinsky who claims that such ads are “the most massive educational program to eat junk
food in history.”, and while I believe that such accusations might in certain cases be correct, one can't deny
the overall economic benefit to businesses and the television industry itself through advertisement; the
health detriments should be the concern of the parents.

The People Within


Edward Dolnick

Type: This essay is expository in the sense that it explains the events surrounding the life of a woman named 'Julie';
Julie is a patient with a severe case of multiple personality disorder.

Purpose: The essay is explanatory in that it tries to show several facets of the life of a person with multiple
personality disorders using various interviews with psychologists and neurologists throughout the essay. I believe
that it might be an analysis of MPD as well as serving as an introduction to those who are new to it. This essay could
easily be used as a reference on the subject given the amount of scientific information used. The impression is given
that this is in many ways scientific literature with a case study on 'Julie', a sufferer of MPD; because of the intimacy
with the patient exposed in Julie's case the essay may also be designed to build sympathy for Julie.

Audience: I would say that the audience would be anyone who is interested in psychological and neurological
sciences given the subject matter of multiple personality disorder, however this is not a string audience. Most likely
a person who is also interested in any kind of interesting or horrific story would find the story interesting given the
sometimes frightening effects of Julie's syndrome. Someone who is interested in the forensic style case studies of a
show like CSI, or a mystery novel might enjoy reading this essay given that it is a case study of subject matter that is
horrific and bizarre at the same time.

Tone: The tone used in this essay seems to be one of rather morose disposition, however there is an undertone of
caution in discussing the subject matter; this is probably given the precaution in giving such an in-depth report on a
case that could be as humiliating to the subject as Julie's. The tone used in the essay at other times sounds similar to
that of a documentary one might watch discussing social sciences and humanities; at times impartial while
sometimes using phrases that would direct people to think of the issue at hand in a certain way.
Language: The language used in this essay borrows a lot from those that may be well known to someone studying
psychology or neurology, and this should be somewhat obvious from the topic matter. However the author does
make attempts to teach the readers what they are talking about, an example of this might be when the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is referred to as being the “bible of psychiatry”. Some of the vocabulary used
resembles a more 'British' English than that typically used in Canada with phrases like “no more skittish than many
people”, “with a kind of gallows humour,” along with “The threat could be real – a mugger” among other phrases
and terms not typically used in English. Because of the more advanced vocabulary sometimes used by the author, it
might be accurate to say that this kind of essay would be best suited for college to university level readers.

Mood: The mood of this essay might match that of a horror story at some points in the depth at which it explains the
time lapses and confusion that occur in Julie's life; the personality change's she goes through when speaking to the
interviewer that are described are sudden and without warning, at some points instigating fear and at others
sympathy. I believe the overall mood of the essay is one of sympathy, if not despair for the life of people with
multiple personality disorder in the explanation of the problems that face them starting from their lives; the amount
of abuse that a 'multiple' faces are described as having the intensity and frequency of abuse taking place in their
childhood being proportional to the amount of personalities they develop and the lack of consistency between them.
Despite the sympathy offered for people with MPD, the essay is one that is essentially a scientific and case study
based one being presented to a mainstream audience; the overall mood is one that is dark and yet clinical in its
explanation.

Voice: The voice of the author used in this essay is to me one that is very calm and attempts to deal with the
problems faced by Julie in the most impartial way; however it is a sympathetic voice that is sensitive in the
discussion of the topic of Julie's life. Through the actual interviews with Julie it can be easily detected that the
interviewer is trying to help Julie at times, such as when they ask whether Julie can remember what just happened,
and then explains it to them; through the various personality changes the interviewer doesn't try to point out what is
happening or take advantage of the situation, at most inquiring as to 'who' has appeared in Julie or another
personality's stead. Later on the voice seems to be that of a curious researcher, explaining everything they already
know about the disorder, asking a simple question and then citing a doctor who has dealt with similar patients to
answer the question. The author tries to explain his findings as a researcher in the topic in as clear, layman terms as
possible at this time. By the end of the essay, it would seem like the author has some hope for the betterment of lives
of people with multiple personality disorders due to a decrease in child abuse and also an increase in the percentage
of successful diagnoses of the disorder.

Literary Devices:

– In the opening paragraph of this essay, there is an allusion to Kurt Vonnegut's work with the phrase
'unstuck in time' being used: this phrase might be considered a paradox in terms of all living things being
bound to time and unable to escape to travel through the past or the future, all things move with time
relative to their own speed; however this applies well to Julie's situation in terms of describing the way that
she will apparently drift out of one personality and into another one seemingly passing through time with
no recollection of what has occurred.
– An allegory used by Dr. Robert Benjamin is used to describe the best way to diagnose a patient without
making too many rash assumptions, “If you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.”; the problem that he
faces however comes from the fact that in the case of MPD, it is a case of 'zebras', or something exotic and
rare as opposed to 'horses', which are more commonplace.
– An odd sort of personification is used by one of Julie's personalities named George, however this may not
actually be a personification under certain scrutiny; he says that “People are kind of close today. There is a
lot of us around.” This is a description of how so many multiple personalities are 'crowded' in Julie's mind
at the time, making it more common for them to come out; whether something that is so intangible as this
can be called personification is open to debate, however the fact that multiple mental constructs are being
described as people in a crowded room does give the idea of making non-living or intangible things a
tangible quality.

Rape on Campus
Ric Dolphin
Type: This essay is expository in the sense that it attempts to explain clearly the events of September 22nd, 1986 at
McGill University where sexual assault was committed against several members of the women's rugby team.

Purpose: The more obvious purpose would be to explain the aforementioned events at McGill University, however
the essay then goes on to explain other circumstances surrounding crimes of sexual abuse in Canada and possible
means of countering it. This is likely to garner attention to the crimes of rape and date rape taking place and to raise
awareness of it; in modern times it is more likely that people are aware of the circumstances surrounding most rape
crimes, however in the late 1980s in Canada (the time at which the essay was published) this might not have been
the case. Therefore this was probably published to explain a few figures relating to sexual abuse in Canada
(particularly Ontario) and to make women (and men) more aware of the common circumstances by which they
happen, focus is paid attention to with the case of 'date rape'.

Audience: The audience of this essay would likely be a demographic of young adults, particularly young women
who should be aware that such crimes occur in high frequency and various cases under which it might happen. It
could also be directed to actual rapists themselves as a means of informing them that the authorities are aware of
their patterns of behaviour and acting in a way as to counter them effectively; this might be through directing more
women to report rape as it occurs from men that they are familiar with, to be wary of 'date rape' drugs, to be more
aware of the possibilities of hazing in university, among other things. I believe that this is more suitable for older
readers given that it is essentially a report on rape and sexual abuse, for those reasons it may not be considered
appropriate for younger readers; older readers may find it interesting however and point it out as a means of warning
their children about the dangers of sexual predators.

Tone: The tone employed by this essay is one that is very impartial to the events described, it is similar to that of a
news reporter in the nonchalance towards the subject matter; this is however very appropriate given that it does
appear to be a news report in many ways, or at least a news article of some kind. Various times are provided, ages of
rapists, locations, dates, and statistics are cited; for these reasons it is very similar to a news report and does not
sound opinionated in the least. The most opinionated statement in the entire essay may be considered to be at the end
where it is noted that 'if feminist circles are correct' then the enforcement of sexual abuse laws in Ontario must
become much firmer.

Language: The language used in this essay is nothing that a high school student should not be familiar with, as it is
at least very similar to a news report and should be very accessible to read for someone of that age demographic or
older. The only words that might not be familiar to someone entering high school might be 'fraternity', 'vigil', or
'sodomy'; anyone who can read a newspaper should not find this essay challenging to read.

Mood: There is very little mood described here from the actually author of the essay itself, any mood arises from the
actual subject matter at hand. For this reason it is highly subjective, however the reports which concern fraternity
parties gone wrong, sexual assault, and incompetent police officers may be one that incites outrage, excitement, fear,
or loathing against the criminals responsible. The mood may be said to first surround the outrage at the fact that
events such as young women being raped in groups while several other people watch ever occurred at a respectable
university like McGill; later on it may move on to anger towards the police officers who did not take full
responsibility for the incidents themselves, stating that the females 'should have locked their doors'.

Voice: The voice used would be the same voice employed by news broadcasters or researchers recounting facts, the
voice used is that of a reporter or a teacher attempting to explain something. The only voice that is truly apparent
might be those of the people and newspapers cited in the essay; one example of this may be how police were
described as “chauvinistic” by The Ontarion. The voice used might be one of a pedagogue, although this is
something of an exaggeration as the newspaper is not academically teaching anything. The one thing being taught
overall is that more attention must be paid to the circumstances of sexual crime taking place in Canada, for that
reason the voice used is one that both grabs the attention of the reader and raises their awareness.

Literary Devices:

– One possible example of irony used in this essay might be when at the beginning of the essay, the events of
Sept 22nd are described to have taken place 'in honour' of the new members of the Women's Rugby team at
McGill University; a few sentences later events are described in which rookies of the team are raped by as
many as three men at once while being exposed to 10 other people. This is cruelly ironic, as no one would
consider it an honour to be group raped while being exposed in front of their 'friends' and teammates.
– One example of an oxymoron in the essay is the term 'date rape' being introduced: this is contradictory in
the sense that social circumstances tend to make dating a consensual activity between two people; the term
'rape' being added into the description obfuscates it to some extent in making it seem like something that is
both consensual and a violation of personal rights. However though, this describes the situations accurate to
an extent, as in the middle of a seemingly consensual romantic, discourse sexual abuse of some kind takes
place and in turn violates someone's personal rights, one of them being right to consent.
– An example of hyperbole or litotes used in the essay would be in the citation of Nathan Polock being
quoted as saying “The status of women has been elevated in society. Rape used to be seen as a woman's lot
in life. Now it is a violation.” This can be taken as hyperbole in the way that a woman's 'lot in life' is
described as being rape at one point; this would give the idea of a civilization when women only exist for
sexual reproduction, exploitation and abuse. Another way to interpret the statement is just to focus on just
how seriously the crime of rape is now taken, as it is merely stated as being 'a violation' when it is
considered a high heinous crime to commit; if the difference in how women were treated in ancient times as
sexual tools compared to how their rights are now highly respect, the statement that their status has been
raised is also rather underwhelming.

The Strange Case of the English Language


Richard Lederer

Type: This is a very persuasive essay by the method that it uses to attempt to explain why the English language in
colloquial use is a very poor tool of communication in various circumstances.

Purpose: One purpose of this essay might be simply for the writer himself (who is a scholar of several languages) to
exercise his own understanding of how the English language works and to illustrate various examples of how it can
be used to create situations that are oxymoronic, paradoxical, nonsensical or misleading. Another purpose of the
essay may have been to illustrate this to the reader that English may not be the most useful language of expression in
the modern world despite being the most popular.

Audience: The most obvious audience would be native English speakers, particularly those who would prefer that
English become the primarily spoken language on Earth based on its popularity. Another audience might be one of
the native speakers of English who find the language to be overly obfuscated by unnecessary rules or expressions
which render the meanings more difficult to convey.

Tone: The tone used throughout this essay is one of a sort of comical or ironic inquisition. Throughout the entire
essay, the author is simply asking seemingly innocent questions about the structure of the English language, each
one revealing the entire language to be more and more poorly constructed. There is definitely a theme of humour
being used throughout the essay; the author is trying to imply that while English is a very widespread language that
is no excuse for using a language that is as poorly constructed as it is. If anything, he is trying to make a mockery of
it simply by creating the essay.

Language: The language used is any kind of English that should be well known to a contemporary and high school
educated person speaking it. The interesting thing about the language used is how it is manipulated to be able to
appear confusing or contradictory in many cases. At other points examples are given where words with have a
similar sounding word conjugated in a certain way don’t match with other words that sound the same way; an
example, “If we conceive a conception, why don’t we believe a beleption?” The language used is purposefully
obscure at some points and forces the reader to analyze exactly what kind of point about the structure of the English
language is being made at various points. Some, such as “How can raise and raze and reckless and wreckless be
opposite when each pair contains the same sound?” are based on the phonics of the English language and less on the
structure of the words themselves.

Mood:The mood of the essay is not very serious, while it could be taken by a layman as being a serious discussion
of the English language and its many faults, the mood of the subject matter here is very light hearted. One gets the
impression that the author is only trying to cram as many of the many errors and curios of the English language into
a single essay before the size becomes unreasonable; this might be shown by the fact that even to the very last
sentence, he is still listing various oxymoronic truths within the English language. From reading this essay, it can be
understood that the author is actually very passionate about language; he likely had a fun time putting the essay
together.
Voice: The voice of the author here seems somewhat confused however that may just be the result of him asking
several rhetorical questions in quick succession. More likely the author is being cynical about the state of the
English language, which he claims several times with determinism, is ‘absolutely crazy’. It is fairly obvious though
that the English language is amusing to the author more than anything else, one could imagine him laughing
between various sentences simply by the ridiculousness of what he is saying at certain points.

Literary Devices:
– A simile that is used to describe language is that “Language is like the air we breathe.” This implies that
language surrounds us all the time, that we are living with it without even noticing it, and that it develops
with us as the world around us does. When a language becomes imperfect, it’s not the result of an imperfect
world, simply an imperfect human race that invented it and developed it; in the case of this essay the
English language is a kind of language that has been around for so long that it has virtually become
‘polluted’ with various misshapen and poorly constructed words, phrases, and grammatical peculiarities.
– To describe the affect that ‘sayings’ have on the language, the following phrase is used: “In the rigid
expressions that wear tonal grooves in the record of our language…” This is an excellent example of
imagery, and for that reason it is very effective in being an analogy for describing the effect that old
phrases have on a language; old phrases are described to have been worn deeply into a language until the
actually words used have become so archaic that they don’t even mean anything outside of that context. An
example of this given is ‘spic and span’; outside of the phrase the word ‘spic’ has nothing to do with
cleanliness if it is ever used at all.
– Oxymorons are used all throughout the essay, they are used primarily as a means of illustrating how
various words manipulated very slightly can either have opposite meanings while using similar terms, or
have the same meaning using opposite terms. This can be best summed up with an excerpt from the essay:
“Still, you have to marvel at the unique lunacy of the English language, in which your house can
simultaneously burn up and burn down, in which you fill in a form by filling out a form, in which you add
up a column of figures by adding them down, in which your alarm clock goes off by going on, in which
you are inoculated for measles by being inoculated against measles, and in which you first chop a tree
down – and then you chop it up.” Examples such as the ones used here could also be considered to be
malapropisms in the sense that the meaning can be very easily changed by the slight manipulation of the
word.

In the Absence of Angels


Elizabeth Glaser and Laura Palmer

Type: This is mainly a narrative essay due to it being a first person memoir of the life of Elizabeth Glaser as well as
the birth and eventual death of her daughter Ariel. There are more explanatory expositions in the essay with are
italicized, it can be assumed that these are Laura Palmer's commentary on the situation. It could also be considered
to be an expository essay overall given that it is trying to explaining the circumstances of people who live with
AIDs, however given the first person perspective it should be considered for the majority to be a narrative essay.

Purpose: The author of this essay describes herself as feeling a sincere vendetta against the discrimination of
people, the apathy of the government, and the incompetence of the medical industry in dealing with the problems
that families faced with AIDs infection face; it is explained many times that she wishes that people could be more
aware of the fact that blood transfusions are the primary means of AIDs transmission and that it is not contagious in
any other way. She feels in many cases that the world has abandoned her and her family. With no mortal help she
describes wishing that angels could save them, however this never happens; thus the title, “In the Absence of
Angels”. The author is attempting to garner sympathy and support for those unaware of the circumstances families
like her own face, and the book that this passage is taken from was written partially to relieve her own anger, make
others more aware of what AIDs is and does, as well as perhaps hopefully changing government and medical health
officials views and reactions to the outbreak of the disease.

Audience: In many ways this is the perspective of a parent, specifically a mother being described as she mourns the
fact that she is slowly losing her own and her family's life; therefore it is very likely that it could be directed at other
parents with AIDs, any parent who is able to sympathize, or anyone else who has lived with a life threatening
disease affecting their life or their children. It could also be taken as a response to the government officials who have
not been very responsive to the demands of people with AIDs for more financial support into research, or perhaps it
could be directed towards medical researchers who don't fully understand just how significant it is to people living
with AIDs that some kind of treatment is found and distributed effectively.

Tone: The tone used by the narrator is one of both desperation and in many places of fear. Given that it is a firsthand
recollection of the struggle to salvage her family and specifically her youngest daughter's life, this should come to
no surprise. The author seems to be in a state of despair at times recollecting the stories, if there is a tone used it is
one of regret; at other times during the narrative the tone used is one of anger and frustration with the lack of support
that the government, medical industry, and in many cases their own friends have shown to their circumstances. The
story is recollected with an extremely sober demeanour; there are very few glimpses of happiness in the expression
of the story besides relief that they have not yet been killed by the disease.

Language: Besides the few medical terms that are used and then quickly defined by the narrator, the language used
throughout the essay is fairly colloquial and it appropriate for someone within high school age or older. Some of the
descriptions used are more poetic or imagery based, such as the description of living an abandoned life 'in the
absence of angels', or the description of 'standing motionless while the scenery pulled past'.

Mood: The mood in the essay is one that is very sombre and humourless, the recollection of the daughter's
dangerous birth and eventual death is a story that is both desperate and fearful; throughout however there are a few
instances of light heartedness, such as the description of being on a Ferris wheel with her near the end of her life.
Elizabeth Glaser tries to explain the abandonment that is felt by a mother living with a family infected with AIDs
through examples; some are the difficulty of getting Ariel into school, others are the strain placed on her marriage
with Paul, another would be the futile attempts to make the government take some significant action in support of
AIDs research.

Voice: The voice used by the author can be imagined to be a strained and world weary one; throughout the
recollection there is a constant feeling as if she has been racing against time and circumstance to increase the
longevity of her daughter’s life. The narrator sounds very feminine and motherly, this can be related to her
descriptions of meeting and then eventually marrying Paul Glaser and later on to the joy that she feels in being able
to have survived the delivery of her daughter and the prospects of starting a new family. If this memoir was to be
read out loud, one can imagine the author to be highly emotionally charged, likely breaking down from sadness at
various points in the narration due to the nature of describing both her daughter's death, and the possibility of her
remaining children having died in her presence. Overall, I would say the voice used is that of a woman who is very
strong but who has lost much of what is important at all; the voice would likely sound very confident although
broken and diminished.

Literary Devices:

– Near the beginning of the essay, imagery is used very effectively in describing the desperation and
confusion the author experienced while trying to salvage their child who is being born 11 weeks to early;
there is described a singular and encompassing focus of first reaching the hospital, and then a feeling of
being “motionless and the scenery being pulled past me,” which makes the reader feel as if they are soaring
past the world rapidly while not making any effort to.
– An example of paradox being used in this essay might be the explanation of the 'intentional schizophrenia'
that the author had to submerge herself into in order to act rationally and as calmly as possible while fully
knowing that her time with her children was now limited and that she would eventually watch them die.
This is a paradox in the sense that schizophrenia is an unintentional splitting of the mind and confusion into
which the sufferer falls into, leading them to confuse reality with fiction and to be unable to deal with their
surroundings effectively; in Elizabeth Glaser's case, being able to forget the reality of her children dying
and believe that she could eventually salvage them is the most rational decision to make in terms of helping
her extend their lives, thus is in effect helps her cope with her circumstances.
– A metaphor employed by the author using ‘anger’ and ‘poison’ is that “Anger is a poison that will seep
into your system and want to stay.” For Elizabeth, she finds that she is unable to cope with the frustration of
having a family with AIDs, the abandonment from seemingly everyone whom they once trusts, and is
forced to forgive everyone in order to be able to deal with her overwhelming anger. This is used in the
context of describing a room with two doors, one door overflowing with anger, and the other door being
there as a means for it to escape; in this allegory the other door is forgiveness. For Elizabeth to best deal
with anger in a situation where belligerency and rage lead nowhere, forgiveness is the most viable option
for her.

Seize the Day


Brenda Chow

Type: This could be considered a responsive essay to another featured in the Essays: Patterns and Perspectives
book, namely My Final Hour by Margaret Laurence. It is structured most similarly to an argumentative essay in
terms of attempting to convince the writer of the aforementioned essay and also readers of hers that there should not
be an overall emphasis on the threat of nuclear war or mankind’s destruction. In comparison, Chow argues that these
ideas are simply a distraction in the modern day world from the prospects of human progress and achievement.

Purpose: The purpose here in many places is to respond directly to Margaret Laurence’s view that nuclear war
should be considered one of the higher priorities in people’s minds, as it could lead to the eventual destruction of
everything that mankind has ever been able to achieve. Chow argues instead that from the perspective of the newer,
modern day generation, these views are fairly irrelevant given that the threat of nuclear war has at current times at
least, become atrophied in inactivity. The overall purpose may be to motivate the readers of it, particularly younger
and more goal oriented readers, that they should spend their time focusing on better themselves and working
towards their goals instead of worrying about unlikely threats which could bring an end to them.

Audience: One obvious member of the audience the essay is directed at would be Margaret Laurence herself; indeed
in many points she is directly pointed out as the object the diction is directed at. Other more personal members of
the audience might be the two classmates mentioned in her essay who are used as examples of the younger
generation Chow is a part of. Overall, most of the rebuttals that Chow makes are directed at members of older
generations who have lived through the threat of nuclear war and the Cold War and know the fear of world
destruction. The essay could also be read by a member of her generations as an on-call of sorts, inciting them to
strive towards their goals undeterred by fears and paranoia that the future might bring and instead accomplishing
their dreams.

Tone: The tone used by this author is one of a dreary kind of indifference to the threat of nuclear war. In many of her
direct responses to Margaret Laurence, the author seems somewhat condescending toward her; she emphasizes that
the world has changed in a lot of ways since the Cold War atrophied and the threat of nuclear war become more and
more distant. Chow sounds almost pedantic in her explanation of how changed the world has become since the time
of Margaret Laurence’s generation, there is some implication of Laurence being too old to fully see why it might be
irrelevant about the threat of nuclear war. Despite the overall theme of a better future for a new generation who
believes and act strongly towards goal accomplishment, there is some theme of degradation toward older
generations.

Language: For a student who is only in high school, there is a clear indication that Chow wants to separate herself
from her contemporaries in terms of the language she employs in writing the essay; the language used may be better
suited for a college or university student through the use of vocabulary such as ‘recalcitrant’, ‘inured’, and
‘banalities’. It is likely that the author wants to exemplify the capabilities of her generation through the use of
vocabulary at a higher level than that of an older person whose essay she is responding to.

Mood: The mood that the author uses in the essay is off one of a lack of interest in nuclear warfare and the problems
that faced an older generation; instead there is a focus on the excitement taking up the world of young people who
strive for better careers, lifestyles, and the fears that embody them through world hunger, crime rates, and AIDs
propagation. The mood is one that is hopeful despite the imperfections of her generation; rather than thinking that it
is the responsibility of all people to salvage the world that they believe in, Chow seems to want to encourage a
happier perspective. Rather than focusing on world destruction and nuclear warfare, she prefers to spend her time
thinking about the day to day life that she and her classmates live, and the small improvements they can make.
Optimism would be one clear mood that pervades throughout the writing; another would be the disinterest toward
the fears of Margaret Laurence.

Voice: The voice of Brenda Chow is full of determinism and hope for a better future, the author sounds very self-
confident in her own views; there is a good deal of youthfulness that does show in her writings through the single
minded concern for her own future and the focus on people her own age. I would say that in many cases she sounds
more informed scientifically and mathematically than that of the essay by Margaret Laurence; where Laurence
focuses more on the nature of art and the duty of artists, Chow brings up trigonometric identities, physics, university
applications, and means of improving one’s resume in a highly competitive environment. Overall, Chow sounds like
a ‘yuppie’ in terms of the way she and her classmates are working toward their future with little concern for
anything else. Confidence in the writing I believe is a key point in the argument that Chow uses: by believing in
oneself one can overcome challenges and not have to worry about the future of mankind; with everyone working
towards their own goals mankind progresses naturally.

Literary Devices:
– In the description of how Margaret Laurence’s generation felt under the threat of nuclear war, the
personification of “nuclear hovering relentless over the periphery” is used. This is a personification in the
sense that while the possibility of a nuclear war is an intangible and probabilistic quantity based on various
factors, the fear of it occurring was constant in the minds of people at the time, ‘hovering’ over them so to
speak.
– A metaphor is produced between the generation of the author’s and that of an ostrich with its head in the
sand; the question is asked why the generation would bother seemingly to hide from the threat of nuclear
war with trivial pursuits such as university or yearbooks? The conclusion is that they aren’t irrelevant,
nuclear war is in the context; the more sensible thing to do would be to live one’s life as they see best
fitting for them. This is hardly “sticking one’s head in the sand” at all, rather than hiding from nuclear
warfare these people simply make the decision not to care much about it in comparison to more important
factors affecting their lives.
– An allusion is made to the film Dead Poets Society with a quote from the ‘offbeat English teacher Mr.
Keating’ who implores his class to ‘Seize the day’. This is obviously significant not only from the fact that
it is the reference from which the title takes its namesake, but it also sums of the main motif of Chow’s
argument. Throughout Chow’s argument, there is an explanation of the troubles marking the modern day
rather than the fears of an older generation; what Chow overall wants the reader to believe is that these
fears and paranoid dwellings are irrelevant. To someone who spends their time dwelling on them and
attempting to counteract them, such as Margaret Laurence, this simply deters from their time which could
be spent on more beneficial pursuits. Through ‘seizing the day’, a person can better their lifestyle in the
present with little concern for the future or the past; as a result they will likely better the world without
even having tried to.

When Does a Boy Become a Man?


Henry G. Felsen

Type: This is an essay with is argumentative in its nature, as it does in many cases go on to attempt to prove
something about the nature of manhood and boyhood, it rarely seems to use any factual references and bases most of
the argument on the author’s opinions. The author does seem to make many factual statements, although the lack of
reference in material does encourage some scepticism toward the subject matter.

Purpose: The purpose of this essay is primarily to argue that manhood, womanhood, and adulthood in general is not
earned through the copying of what is interpreted as being ‘adult-like’ by young teenagers; this can involve drug use,
promiscuous sex, truancy, a lack of responsibility among other things. The author prefers to encourage the idea that
true adulthood is met through meeting responsibilities without being told to, or constantly reminded to.

Audience: The audience of this essay would most likely be young men under the age of 18; this can be explained by
the way that there are some interludes in which the author appears to be communicating to a 16 year old boy in an
attempt to explain to him what manhood means. At other points in the essay, there are also some words of advice
passed to young women who may be reading the essay, such as ‘the absence of orders does not imply the absence of
duties’. From another point of view grown adults may enjoy reading this essay as it would remind them perhaps of
the misbehaviour they engaged in as children; in present time they may view this as a reflection of their own views
on the modern day youth.

Tone: The tone used in this essay is one that fluctuates from being one of a parental figure attempting to help guide
the young man who he is talking to; in this context it could be that the author is trying to represent what he wishes
he could say as a father figure to the young men of modern day society. In another perspective, the author tries to
explain the circumstances that he sees surrounding contemporary young men and women while also describing his
apprehensions towards the behaviour which he sees them emulate. Toward the ‘young audience’, the author is
somewhat condescending.

Language: The language used in this essay is meant to be able to be understood by a young person, and in some
cases a young person who does not act particularly sensibly. For that reason it is not a very difficult essay to read,
the language is appropriate for a person in high school or college.

Mood: The mood of the essay seems to be one of disappointment in the way that the young people of the time
behave and attempt to act more adult; the author seems to wish that young men and women would ‘smarten up’ and
take more responsibility for what they do with their lives. In many cases, I think that the author appears to be
projecting his own views of how people should behave onto other people without consideration that young people
may just want to express themselves however they feel, with or without wanting to ‘appear’ adult; for this reason I
would say that the author seems to be slightly belligerent in defending his cause against ‘immature’ young people
who ‘mimic adulthood’.

Voice: The voice of the author in this essay would sound similar to that of one’s father, relative to the reader or at
least a father figure of some kind; this can be attributed to the fact that at the beginning of the essay and near the end
of it the author is addressing and unidentified 16 year old boy on what it means to be man. For many 16 year old
boys, this should be fairly familiar as something they heard from their father if not another parental figure; in the
case of young women it is likely that they could imagine a similar discussion with their mother or their father on
becoming a young woman. I also believe that because of the elderliness of the role the author is playing in their
essay, they also come off as sounding condescending and judgmental toward the audience of young people. In many
cases, the author seems to assume that the behaviour of young people is simply an attempt to act more adult and
therefore be taken seriously as adults by actual adults themselves; he doesn’t seem to give consideration to the idea
that young people just may want a means of expressing themselves or enjoying their youth while they still can
without the toils of adult life on them.

Literary Devices:
– A metaphor used in this essay is that of a donkey that pretends to be a lion; when the lions roar, the donkey
can only bray, as a result the donkey is eaten. This is a comparison to young people who pretend to be
adults when in fact they are not mentally prepared to act as one; when faced with the responsibilities of an
adult they cannot cope, and as a result they fall apart as people and find themselves unable to cope with
their circumstances. Rather than being eaten alive, these people are described as being the most illiterate,
struggling to find and hold the worst jobs, and having their babies become public charges. While this may
work well for the case of young adults who do act irresponsibly, it may be ill suited in describing those who
aren’t necessarily trying to be adults; many of those young people do eventually decide to grow up when
their time comes and don’t become the kind of people whom the author describes.
– An example of hyperbole being used may be in the statistics which the author produces without any kind
of reference being used (i.e. invalidating it as anything besides falsehood); the statistics used revolve
around ‘a typical American town’. In this proposed town, 90% of the inhabitants who could stay up all
night are in bed by 10:00PM, 90% of the inhabitants who smoke wish they could quit, 90% of the men and
women able to pursue casual sex easily look for a single mate with whom to spend the rest of their lives
and 90% of all the people able to buy all the liquor and alcohol they could want are sober. I believe that this
is one example of exaggerated ‘fact-producing’ statements used in this essay that marks it as being very
clearly biased toward the writer’s view to the exclusion of any other.
– Taken in the view of the kind of young man that this essay centers its attention on, the last paragraph may
appear to be a paradox: “When the time comes that you no longer feel the necessity to prove to me, to your
friends, to the world, or to yourself you are a man – you will have become one.” To the reader, this seems
to teach one that manliness is something that is discovered, not sought after like a treasure of sorts. The
author of this essay seems to strongly believe that boys that behave ‘as boys should’ are on the veritable
path to becoming respectable men; the boys who instead attempt to prove themselves as men by whatever
convoluted ideals they choose are in fact not men at all and rather misguided. This line summarizes the
ideas in the essay wholly: that young people should strive to make the best of themselves rather than
proving that they are better prepared for living than others.