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…

The Seam of the Snail by Cynthia Ozick

The intention of the essay is to compare and contrast the styles of excellence between the author and her mother. Imagery: The author of “The Seam of the Snail” uses strong imagery throughout the essay to provide visuals for the audience and to invoke emotion in the reader. She compares herself to the snail, oozing…

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…

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…

Why I Want a Wife by Judy Brady

Intention: The intention of this piece is to emphasize the unrealistic expectations society has for women once they are married. Ethos: Brady begins this essay by making an appeal to ethos, “I belong to that classification of people known as wives. I am a Wife. And, not altogether incidentally, I am a mother.” This appeal…

Mother Tongue by Amy Tan

In the essay Mother Tongue by Amy Tan shows how English does not have only one type, but a variety of ways to be used and understood. It is an invitation to see English as a variety of ideas and expressions of oneself. Amy Tan has ethos on the subject of English and how it…

On Self-Respect by Joan Didion

The essay On Self-Respect by Joan Didion explores the meaning of self-respect and the key qualities behind it of having honesty, integrity, and discipline to achieve it. Joan Didion explains why self-respect is so important and how it should be viewed in a positive light and not considered being full of oneself in achieving it….

More than Just a Shrine – Ellis Island by Mary Gordon

Intention: To inform the reader of what it was like for American immigrants who came through Ellis Island. Throughout the essay she describes some of the hardships and prejudices that these people had to face in order to reinforce her point. Tone: Throughout the essay she keeps a level and somewhat formal tone; at times…

The Spider and the Wasp By Alexander Petrunkevitch

The intention of this piece was the describe the interesting relationship between a tarantula and a wasp. Petrunkevitch goes into great detail about the appearance and behavior of the tarantula to try and allow the audience to better understand this fascinating relationship. The tone of this piece remains academic throughout the entire essay. The main…

Under The Influence by Scott Russell Sanders

The intention of “Under the Influence” by Scott Sanders is to talk about the life he had with an alcoholic father and how this influenced his life. He writes about the “corrosive mixture of helplessness, responsibility, and shame”, which Scott had to carry around with him as a son of an alcoholic. The pathos of…