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…

Living Like Weasels by Annie Dillard

The intention of this piece is to convince readers to live “as [they’re] meant to,” focus on their individual purposes (or goals), and never give up on whatever they feel they are meant to do. The sentence, “He had two black eyes I didn’t see, any more than you see a window,” was very effective…

Reading the River by Mark Twain

In Reading the River by Mark Twain, he uses his own experience as an apprentice steamboat pilot to suggest a pilot’s the loss of beauty in the river and the gain in awareness of its dangers. The analytical study of the river by the pilot shows it’s hidden dangers underneath the illusion of its beauty. It can…

The Allegory of the Cave by Plato

The intention of The Allegory of the Cave is to address the knowledge of reality versus the appearances of everyday illusions. Plato uses his allegory and conversation with Socrates to further prove his point of human ignorance. The intention is also to urge the educated to help free their fellow citizens who dwell in ignorance. The…

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…

Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Intention: Orwell tells of his experiences in Burma, where he was a sub-divisional police officer.  This piece was written to share his experiences with the people of Burma and to reveal the societal standards that he was pressured to comply to. Orwell’s intention in this piece is also to inform people of the negatives of…