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First Writing Assignment “Two Views of the Mississippi” Essay

As Mark Twain learned the trade of steamboating he needed to be able to discern between the beautiful aspects of the river which he talked about figuratively and the critical awareness of those same aspects as they pertain to navigation. The two sets of details are in juxtaposition. However, there is something larger happening in the excerpt. What is it? Define it as the thematic concern for your paper. Develop your thesis around the larger message. In other words, what is the big picture here? What is the larger message that the writing attempts to engage for the audience? Most, if not all, of the language speaks about two views of the river, but the tension between those descriptions is both explicit and implicit. What are the implied factors (implications) beyond the language of the piece? The explicit examples (tools/devices/strategies of rhetoric) of language will help you speak specifically about the evidence on the page as it pertains to the global outlook that the piece hints at. The two sets of descriptions set up a much larger concept and that concept permeates into the real world. What is that concept or what are those ideas? They are wide ranging.

The ideas are crucial in the understanding of the piece itself, no doubt, however it (they) reach further? How much further do they reach? Respond to the prompt in a way that you touch on the larger messages that are inherent in the piece. Do the ideas shape the reality you are currently forming for yourself? The specific language of the piece are nice examples and activities of rhetoric, so how do they ultimately point to and lead us into answering the bigger question/concept of the piece? In your quest to develop and support your interpretation as to the message of the piece you will find it important to identify tools of figurative language and how they differ from the literal translations of those same descriptions.

Identify tools of figurative language:

What does that language say? How does it help support your case? Why does the language work? Furthermore, identify the language that juxtaposes the appearance of the figurative language: How does that language differ? How does it help support your ideas? What does the language reiterate about the larger picture? Essay will be 5 pages. It will discuss the main idea and support it by defining the moments of language that are pertinent to the discussion of the larger message.

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