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Critical Analysis Of Suzanne Britt’s “Neat People vs Sloppy People” Essay

“Neat People vs Sloppy People” by Suzanne Britt is article relating the sloppy people to being morally supreme to neat people. Britt explains that in her experience neat people are lazy and mean. She states that this is directly related to how they excuse the little messes of the world, and cold heartedly throw them in the trash can. Britt cites many instances in which sloppy people are the way they are out of love, and neat people are neat because they do not know how to love. According to Britt this is her way of affirming to herself that her being sloppy is not a problem but a personal attribute that people should be aspiring to develop. Britt explains in the first block of her article that sloppy people are creative, noble and loving. She explains they live in a Never-Never land, a land in which creativity thrives. She insinuates the mess is not a mess it is a muse. Piles of magazines, messy desks and unorganized books are the oil that gets the gears moving inside a sloppy persons head.

She explains the sloppy people keep old newspapers around because sloppy people care too much to throw them away. Britt also mentions that family pictures and postcards are not yet in a scrapbook because sloppy people are too noble and aim to high and wide to ever complete such a task. Clearly she has many instances in which she relates sloppiness to the positive side of the moral spectrum. Suzanne in her second block describes neat people as morally incompetent people because they operate on two rules never use anything twice and throw everything away. She mentions that have no love for mail, church bulletins, coupons or pleas. Neat people simply find no use for mail other than bills and after the bills have been taken care of they too deserve to go into the trash. Lacking a caring feeling of any kind they throw away birthday cards even final letters from dying relatives. These neat people are so cold hearted they will get rid of pets and children just because they bring a mess into the house.

Obviously Britt was generalizing neat people here a bit there is no science that proves neat people would get rid of their loves ones animal or human just to prevent a mess. Clearly Britt has strong feeling towards neat people and provides many examples of how being neat relates to being morally incompetent. The message I get from these words is that Britt is almost convincing herself that if she were neat she would be a bad moral person. I feel this is very similar to athletes who did not make it to the next level they have some sort of excuse and they almost convince themselves that this excuse is now the truth. “I did not make is because I got hurt, the coach did not like me or it was not the right system”, are word I have heard from many non-professional athletes. When the truth more often than not is that they did not work hard enough or were not talented enough tom make it to the next level.

In my opinion reading this article give me that same feeling of someone making excuses for a part of their life they are not completely happy with. It is clear to me that Britt is trying to convince herself that being sloppy makes her a better person than one who’s house, desk and car are always spotless. Certainly the author seems to have strong feelings about being neat versus being sloppy. Britt explains that sloppiness promotes creativity and it also show that that person is a caring kind individual. The Second half of her article explains that neat people operate on two rules never use anything twice and throw everything away.

I also think part of the purpose of this article was to make the author feel more comfortable with herself because I believe she is a sloppy person. Obviously Britt explains her viewpoints about sloppy people morally superior to neat people who throw everything away because they do not care about anything but themselves but I think there is a deeper reason for this article. I think that Britt wrote this to ease her conscience because deep down she wants to be okay with being sloppy.

References
Britt, Suzanne. “Neat People vs. Sloppy People.” Ed. X. J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Jane E. Aaron. The Bedford Reader. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. 233-38.


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