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Timothy Egan’s “’The Good Rain” Essay

In this essay “The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest” Timothy Egan begins his essay by introducing himself that he was born in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington and he is the Pulitzer Prize. He views Seattle as a new and interesting city which has changed a lot in the last century. Declining hills, losing salmon stream, building new skyscrapers by month, and the forested edge of the city is deforested for new neighborhoods as well. No wonder he describes Seattle as “a city that can’t decide what to wear”(127). He also interprets Seattle by kayak, where people usually travelling by kayak in the old time then getting into Elliott Bay, a bay with six hundred feet of depth, on a hectic weekday morning that is overwhelmed with ship traffic and dwelled mostly by one species, a half-blind octopus that weight about three hundred pounds.

In another view, Timothy Egan wants to invite readers to imagine from George Vancouver’s perspective who discovered and marked Puget Sound onto the map. He started his travel heading up the Pacific Coast and then to the south to an inland sea and an enormous volcano which is named Rainier. Before Puget Sound was discovered, Vancouver always thought that wild land was evil land, bad before it was civilized but Vancouver belief had changed by the time he found the garden of Puget Sound. Then, he wrote perhaps his most famous passage: “To describe the beauties of this region, will, on some future occasion, be a very grateful task to the pen of a skillful panegyrist.

The serenity of the climate, the innumerable pleasing landscapes, and the abundant fertility that unassisted nature puts forth, require only to be enriched by the industry of man with villages, mansions, cottages and other buildings, to render it the most lovely country to be imagined.”(129). Egan also tells the reader about Sealth who was tall, tough and owned eight slaves and freed them at last. Similar to what Abraham had done for blacks in the South. Sealth had done so much to develop the city and it was named after Sealth as a reward and eventually the name had changed to the city of Seattle as we known today.

Timothy Egan does a really great job when he is trying to make readers imagine the city of Seattle is based on the landscape of Seattle and the perspective of George Vancouver. He starts with a condition of the early generation that they mostly travel by kayak and the consistent changes of Seattle’s landscapes and then he ends up writing about a humorist Fran Lebowitz who said “why are they tearing it down” which shows his disappointment to people who harm the landscape by building new skyscrapers and deforesting the forest of the city. Otherwise, Seattle would be a really “cute” city.

He also wants readers to have George Vancouver’s feeling about the city and he has done a pretty good job by providing strong supporting sentences in which written “to Vancouver and other British explorers, wild land was evil land, bad until proven civilized. That attitude changed when he came upon the garden of Puget Sound.” It makes the passage sounds more convincing the terrain is really fertile and wonderful. As it is not only Vancouver that agrees the terrain is fantastic but also the British explorers. In the conclusion, Egan likes the place very much and he is willing to share the beauty of Seattle to the readers and it works really well.


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