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Mcclean “Slice of Life” Essay

The Author Russell Baker wrote a very humorous piece entitled “The Slice of Life”. In his essay, he chose a mostly directional approach on how to carve a turkey. Most instructions, especially when it comes to cooking or preparing food are very cut and dry without any personality involved. Russell Baker instilled his personality and humor by throwing in ingredients and items that are not convential in te preparation of a turkey. Some of those tools are an ax, barbells, bath towels, sutures (used for surgical wounds) and iodine. Many of the instructions are useless in the actual application of carving the turkey, which I believe was the point of the writer. There was little intention in actually accomplishing the task, but more focus on making you laugh.

On step 6 he states, you should “exericse the biceps and forearms by lifting barbells until they are strong” (Scarry 632). Further into the story he talks about turkeys falling in laps and watching the football game. It is pretty clear that those previous two actions are not synonymous with carving a turkey. To keep the flow of the essay he did use a few transitional words. Some of those transitional words were: now, in this case, begin, and repeat. There were a few transitional words that were ommitted such as then, once you have, the second step or the last step. Overall, it seems the author is trying to convey that carving a turkey is not a pleasant experience. I would also argue that he believes that no one wants to do it and it should be pawned off on someone else, if possible.


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