Between the Sexes, A Great Divide by Anna Quindlen

Intention: Quindlen writes of the huge separation between men and women in her piece, humorously ruminating on how the two genders can even get along. She then shifts to explain that although the two groups are very different, it is how they use their differences together that is really important. She opens her essay by…

No Man is an Island by John Donne

Intention: The intention of this essay is to demonstrate the idea that every human being is connected to one another, and the idea that when one person suffers, we all suffer with him/her. One memorable quote from this essay is, “…all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter…

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

The intention is to spark a revolution for Communism.  The authors wrote this to inform the Proletarians of the benefits of Communism and encourage them to embrace the call to action: “Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution.  The proletariats have nothing to lose but their chains.” Marx and Engels begin their manifesto…

The Company Man by Ellen Goodman

Intention:  The intention of the piece is to force readers to think about family, loved ones, what they truly value and how they spend their time.  It is supposed to make readers want to expend their energy on things that mean something to them and not waste their time away. >Goodman tells the story of…

Marrying Absurd by Joan Didion

The intention of this essay is to expose the shallow and cheap nature of Las Vegas weddings.  With the use of satire, Joan Didion shows the superficialness of not only those who marry in Las Vegas but of other American traditions and rituals.  The essay gives specific examples of how Las Vegas weddings are both, “bizarre…

Arriving at Perfection by Benjamin Franklin

Intention: To document Benjamin Franklin’s efforts to live each day without committing any faults which he characterized as failing to act in the manner defined by his thirteen virtues. Franklin wanted to acquire the habit of living by these virtues. Franklin’s writing is very clear and plain, explaining his entire thought process. He goes through…

How We Listen by Aaron Copland

Intention: Copland informs us on the subject of music and the various ways that we listen to it. According to him, the different planes we listen on are the sensuous plane, the expressive plane, and the musical plane. Each plane of listening has its own purpose and advantages and knowing about them can help us…

Nowhere Man by Pico Iyer

Intention- Iyer’s intention of Nowhere Man is to display the increase of depersonalization in younger generations, as well as the lack of connection between home and self and self and others. Ethos- In his essay, Iyer describes the “transit loungers,” a group of people that spend most of their time traveling and not forming an emotional or…

Naps by Barbara Holland

Intention: Holland’s intention in this essay is to bring to light the importance of daily naps, and explain the benefits of napping in the middle of the afternoon. -Holland appeals to logos and builds her credibility with the audience by explaining other countries customs and views on napping versus the U.S.’s. For example, she tells…

On Ben Franklin’s Virtues by D.H. Lawrence

Intention: Lawrence’s intention in this essay is to criticize Ben Franklin’s self-improvement essay. He responds to Franklin’s plan for achieving perfection and explains why it will not work. -Lawrence’s tone throughout the essay is sarcastic and disrespectful toward Franklin and his ideas. His dislike for Franklin’s ideas is shown through this tone and when he…

The Wound in the Face by Angela Carter

Intention: Carter’s intention in this essay is to bring attention to the “wounds” that are deeply imbedded in the culture of women’s beauty. She describes makeup trends throughout history, and uses a mouth with red lipstick as a symbol of the wounds inflicted on women, while bringing into question the sense of security of women….

Into the Electric Millennium by Sven Birkerts

Intention: The essay’s intention is to make readers aware of the significant change that had begun to occur as electronic technologies developed. Birkerts uses rhetorical devices to convey his feelings toward this development, which takes our society into a new, unknown electronic culture. Birkerts wants to inform his audience of the major turning point society has reached in which the culture of…