Essay, Pages 4 (757 words)
Certain forms of rhetoric may seem like they are set in concrete, but this is not true. The 75 Readings essays “The Plague,” “Once More to the Lake,” and “Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers” are labeled as a narrative, a description and an exposition respectively. The essays are much like human beings in that, labels are no more than mere words that help divide them into certain categories that they only kind of fit into.
The lines that divide essays into their categories are fuzzy line a misty morning in that a narrative may also be an exposition.
The essays from 75 Readings do not have to be labeled so strictly for they can be viewed as any other form of rhetoric. An example of a narrative that could also be an exposition would be “The Plague” written by Barbara Tuchman. Expositions contain a process, an example, and compare/contrast. “The Plague” shows a process with the succession of the black plague.
Tuchman charts out how the plague spread across Europe. Examples are common in expositions, such as when Tuchman says, “In Siena, where more than half the inhabitants died of the plague, work was abandoned on the great cathedral, planned to be the largest in the world, and never resumed, owing to loss of workers and master masons and ‘the melancholy and grief’ of the survivors” (Tuchman 28). There is also a definite compare and contrast, in which Tuchman compares and contrasts the different ways the plague effected different parts of Europe.
Like how in Paris, France the nuns of Hotel Dieu tended the sick without fear of dying themselves while in Piazza, Sicily priests did not attend church to hear their flocks confessions because of their fear of death. As with “The Plague”, the essay “Once More to the Lake” can be labeled as another form of rhetoric. “Once More to the Lake” written by E. B. White is labeled as a descriptive; however, it could also be labeled as a narrative.
A narrative must have, at least, a point of view, characters and a logical arrangement. The point of view is in the first person, the story is told from the narrators’ point of view, “On the journey over to the lake I began to wonder what it would be like” (White 42). White also uses characters, mainly the narrator, his son, and the narrators’ father. Another aspect of a narrative is a logical arrangement; White’s logical arrangement follows the narrators thinking process. As the narrator switches between real time nd memories, we the readers follow his thinking process just as we would with the logical arrangement of any other narrative. Sure this form of logical arrangement is slightly confusing and difficult to recognize memory from reality and possibly suggests that the narrator has the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or perhaps simply a few too many hits to the head. Finally, the essay labeled as an exposition, “Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers,” by Deborah Tannen, can also be a seen as a description.
A description is known for its logical arrangement, sensory language, and objective or subjective perspective. The logical arrangement in this essay follows the different scenarios with dialogue between two individuals, one male and one female. One example of logical arrangement that Tannen uses would be the scenario where Sylvia and Henry are celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary and there is an issue with the cake. Tannens use of sensory language in the fiftieth anniversary scenario is subtle at best.
There is just enough there to provide a scene for each scenario that Tannen uses. The essay has an objective perspective, since Tannen analyzes the conversation from the view of a scientist, to whom nothing is personal. From 75 Reading the essays “The Plague,” “Once More to the Lake,” and “Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers,” are more commonly labeled as a narrative, a description, and an exposition. These essays must not be labeled as an exposition, a narrative and a descriptive, respectively.
This does not have to be so. Much like a castle made of Legos, everything is interchangeable within the forms of rhetoric. Like how “The Plague” is not only a narrative but also an exposition while, “Once More to the Lake” is not simply a description but a narrative, and “Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers” cannot just be labeled as an exposition but as a description too. Forms of rhetoric are almost always interchangeable, like jewelry to a woman.