INTRO TO COLLEGE WRITING
INTRO TO COLLEGE WRITING ENGL 100C
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Autumn Ward on Wednesday September 30, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 100C at Western Kentucky University taught by Vicki Samson in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see /class/216735/engl-100c-western-kentucky-university in English (So Campus) at Western Kentucky University.
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Date Created: 09/30/15
Amanda Piotrowski Ms Samson English l00 November 30 20l0 What s Funny about Death Dead people it wouldn t be my first choice of topics to read about let alone write about Although this is a subject I wouldn t pick up at a library there are ways writers can portray the matter of death Not only can authors make the subject humorous but also ironic Jessica Mitford s piece Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain and Jonathan Swift s A Modest Proposal are perfect examples of this Mitford s piece is something unforgettable Mitford wrote about the embalming process She talks about the process a dead person goes through in order to be ready for the funeral Her first few sentences pull me into the reading The drama begins to unfold with the arrival of the corpse at the mortuary 308 Even the first sentence there is something about her writing that makes it seem like the piece is going to be interesting It s like she is telling you a story and who doesn t like stories Her choice of words is amazing theyvisually take you step by step through the process of Piotrowski 2 preparing the corpse While Mitford is writing you can sense a certain tome reoccurring throughout the piece humor While the subject matter itself is not funny she puts a twist on it Mr Jones is reposing in the preparation roomito be readied to bid the world farewell 3l0 Giving a name to this dead body is something people might find sick With her use of words in the passage Mitford makes it seem like the body is coming back to life for one last bow Mitford tells you of everything that happens during the embalming process but does it in a joking way One part during the piece she brings up things that may be wrong with the body Missing a head She asks Then we can just put the torso back with the head and sew them back together But to cover the unsightly scar maybe have the corpse wear a scarf or collared shirt Her humorous tone during the piece alsoshows that she finds the procedure of making a dead person beautifulrather ridiculous Why should people spend thousands of dollars on something they no nothing too little about The skin retains a velvety softness the tissues are rubbery and pliable Ideal for women and children 3ll this is another example of how she uses humor in her work Even the smallest detail has to be right even the feel of the skin on the dead figure How gross does that sound During a funeral it is not normal for people to touch the person This implies why Piotrowski 3 not the skin will be silky smooth Shefurthermore uses many patterns to help her express her point of View One pattern that shows up time after time isher use of the list An example would be what happens to the corpse when one is dead She says things like sliced pierce trimmed creamed rouged up and dressed neatlySomething else she uses would be repeating the same phrase over and over throughout the piece Something like before an autopsy may be performed before the deceased may be cremated before the body may be turned over to a medical school for research purposes 308 3l5 The majormethod used was the embellishment of the embalming process because that is what the piece was about Something ironic to her piece was when she died she was cremated She knew the process and stayed away from it when she died Mitford usedinflated terms and situations to draw more attention to the topicAs stated before the topics of death embalming and funerals are not entertaining topics to read about Mitford made them interesting and even entertaining by using literary devices Her tone word choice and use of patterns make this an interesting easy to read piece of writing Babies for dinner doesn t that sound like a wonderful idea This is what the subject matter of Jonathan Swift s A Modest Proposal is all aboutAAModest Proposal begins by arguing the Piotrowski 4 poverty that is widespread in TrelandSwiftsuggeststhat the poverty is no big deal to England who Treland doesn t like because they are to blame for the poverty In order to help the poverty Swift comes up with an idea why not eat babiesAlthough we all know it is wrong to eat another human being he proposes nothing is wrong with itEarly on in the piece he writes how concerned he is for the poor of the country It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town or travel in the country when they see the streets the roads and cabin doors crowded with beggars of the female sex 67l He believes in a cycle of poverty This is where the parents are poorso the kids will also become poor We need to do something about the children make money off of them somehowHe suggests that we should consume the kids They aren t doing anything to help the family get more money so why not This is an example of humor in Swift s piece While no one would sell and eat their baby it s a solution to the problem The family can then raise the child and make himher good enough to eat and sell the juvenile for a price This in turn will give the parents money to help themselvesHe also says that when you sit down and see how much money you spend on a kid and how much money you make the figures don t add up So instead of having to put clothes on Piotrowski 5 their back and feeding them their entire life you can sell them to feed and clothe yourself This is also where the title comes into play A Modest Proposal By no means is this modest asking people to eat their children is something ludacris The essay goes on to promote all of the ways such a method could work He believes that a family has a price for which they will give up their child He is sure that mothers would carry their offspring to term and sell them for eight shillings Doing this would give the rich a new delicacy Those who are more thrifty may flay the carcass make admirable gloves for ladies and summer boots for fine gentlemen 67380 now that they eat the babies why waste things Save the skin and we can make it into wonderful items to wear While this is a gross thought it is also somewhat humorous Can you imagine people walking around talking about their new gloves or boots made from skin No because the idea is so irrational Another reason this would work is becauseit would boost business for local taverns They could try and see who could combine flavor and ingredients to make a mouthwatering dish The perfect age for the eating of the children is from birth and up to six At this time the meat is really tender and the skin nice and smooth Swift says the perfect child is a girl because her skin is not as tough as boys who is younger and has done no physical labor This child leads to the best payout With the money going to parents rent Piotrowski 6 holders the whole economy would be benefit The population and poverty problems would be lessened because you could get money from selling your kidsThis would also set Ireland to be a more sufficient nation they could have their own economy without England ruining it He also proposed that the Irish people are not the Victims that they would sell their kids for an economic gain and would go along with such a proposal 1 would say if you have only read the piece once to go back to the story and read over it again During the first time just try to appreciate the humor and language that are within A Modest Proposal The second time you read think about the time period Think about how the Irish are being represented and question whether or not there are any good points that the writer makes Consider the role of England and how their inputaffects Ireland Also look atthe ways the poor of Ireland are not shown to have much creativityor self respect that they would sell off their own kids Almost like they are too lazy to do anything about the problem At the end of the piece Swift says that his kid and wife would not fit into the criteria of selling his kids I have no children by which I can propose to get a single penny the youngest being nine years old and my wife past childbearing 678 The idea you should take away from this piece is it is meant to point out the flaws of dealing with economic and social problems Piotrowski 7 Both Swift and Mitford are incredible writers The use of humor and irony make their pieces pleasurable to read It also shows that no matter what time you live in the topic can still be relevant years down the road While death is looked at as a morbid topic Swift and Mitford were able to use literary devices to lighten the subject So who s ready for a funeral and some baby casserole to celebrate
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