Question 1 Identify two passages from the essay where the author uses description effectively. For each passage, explain the impact or effect of this description.
“A thigh-length leather vest covered with fringe and studded with silver, it dates from around 1967, a fanciful time in college-boy fashions.”
In this passage the author uses description effectively, for presenting how his leather vest looked like. This description depicts a fashion item and its effect is visual, as the readers can imagine how the jacket looks, attaching all the elements of the description to the item, for identifying a glamorous and fancy leather jacket. Moreover, this description generates also an immediate association with a person who wears it: a young boy, portly, proud, with a somehow restlessness temper. In the same time, the description reflects the college – boy fashion, determining the readers to visualize a student campus with good looking college boys, dressed elegant and sometimes shocking.
This passage effectively uses the description, for illustrating an image of the megastar Michael Jackson, wearing a band jacket. This description is powerful, because it brings to readers’ attention Michael Jackson and its iconic fashion item (its band jacket) and also the Beatles band, with their album “Sgt. Pepper”, symbolic for the young generation of that time. Therefore, this description impacts through the remembering of Michael Jackson and the Beatles, allowing the mind to imagine them in their stylish jacket, glamorous and very attractive while wearing a trendy fashion item. Only imagining Michael Jackson as the symbol of the new generation wearing a cool jacket makes the readers desire to instantly have one, to be popular and to go dancing with the King of Pop.
Question 2 This essay uses a narrative framework where a story involving a father and a son is told. This story is relayed through a first person point of view—the pronoun “I” is used.
The pronoun “I” makes the connection between the past (the sixties), back when the author was a young man and the his present times, when he helps his teenage son to prepare for a “sixties party”. The author is the one that is rememorizing something from the past and he is also living in the present, acting as an omnipresent figure for the current story. Likewise, the first person writing suggests a reflective and subjective tone, indicating an autobiographic story.
Question 3 Choose one passage from “Something from the Sixties” that serves as an example of an idea.
“I have so little sense of time that when he said he needed something from the sixties it took me a moment to place that decade. It’s the one he was born toward the end of.”
This passage serves as an example for the author’s demonstrating the fact that he has little sense of time. The passage indicates that the author (the one who tells the story) is a person who has some problems in identifying the time or periods from his past and it presents a moment in which he reflects at the fact that his son has told him that he needed a piece of clothing from the sixties and the author found it a little bit troublesome to remember that period of time. After a while he remembered which that decade in his life was, associating it with the period when his son was born. By indicating the fact that he needed a moment for identifying the sixties decade, the passage is significant for the purpose of explaining the idea of having troubles with the time. The author succeeded in remembering when the sixties where, by associating that period with the time when his son was born, therefore, a significant moment in his life. This again, strengthens the fact that the author has problems with remembering time and he can only solve this problem, by associating different decades with meaningful events.
Question 4 The thesis in this essay is not explicitly stated. Still, the essay has a strong clear message. What is this message?
The importance of keeping old stuff, because you never know when they might be useful. This is the message of the essay and the readers discover it towards the end of the essay, as until then the facts and ideas progress towards that direction.
Question 5 In your opinion, who is the intended audience? Why?
I believe that the essay’s intended audience are parents who have teenage children. Nevertheless, the essay is intended to teenagers also, or young adults who will, at one point in their life, become parents. I believe that the essay “Something from the Sixties” is targeting the parents, especially the parents who were young in the sixties decade, as the author talks about that period, describing how young college boy would look and act back then, imposing a nostalgic glance into the past. The essay also points out the importance of keeping things, as they might once be needed in a situation, which is a characteristic that defines the parents and it acts as an advice for the younger generation, to keep the things that make them proud, or make them look and feel good as they are young, as these memories could be useful one day or the items could actually serve for one purpose in life.
Question 6 Identify and explain two devices (techniques) used in the essay. You may wish to choose from the following list: metaphor, simile, imagery, symbolism, allusion, repetition, allusion, dialogue.
The imagery “when he bursts into a room glassware rattles and the cat on your lap grabs on to your knees and leaps from the starting block” is used for describing the author son’s abrupt and unexpected way of entering a room, indicating his sanguine temper, his vivid and relentless nature, but also his young age, when everything moves and happens fast.
The passage “that ought to make you think of a cotton planter enjoying a Sazerac on a veranda in New Orleans” constitutes an allusion, as it makes a reference to a type of person (a cotton planter), placed in a certain location (New Orleans). The allusion is used in the text for resembling the author’s son with a cotton planter, when he had the broad – brimmed Panama hat on his head.
- Write a narrative paragraph that could be the first paragraph of an essay entitled “Roadtrip across Canada”; OR, “A Weekend at the Cottage”; OR, Hurricane.
Walking bear – footed in the soft green grass, I could very vividly sense the little dew bulbs as they were tickling my soles. The rising sun was surprising me in my improvised pajama: an old pair of beach pants and a promotional t-shirts that my mother received as she was shopping in a super market. Although still a little bit sleepy, I loved the thrills that the freshness of the morning gave to me. This piece of heaven, this little cottage placed in the middle of a forgotten village has been in my family for decades, since I was a teenager. Back then I was full of airs and graces when my parents would propose to go to the cottage house, as I was aiming for the companionship of people my age and for the noise and divertissement of the big city life. Now I am dying to escape as often as possible to this place, to forget about all that the big city life means, and stay in the hammock while enjoying a good book or speaking with the birds.
- Write a paragraph that uses example as its main strategy. Your paragraph should be 5-6 sentences in length. Choose one of the following topics for your paragraph: how who you are as a student is an example of who you are as a person; OR, how the holiday season that occurs every December is an example of lavish consumerism; OR, the life of a student at a busy time in term.
Christmas is the time to be good and generous with the others, but this often translates in spending and taking advantages of the sells and promotional offers, as this holiday season is an example of lavish consumerism. In fact, the December holiday season seems to be more connected with the idea of shopping, of huge advertising campaigns, of the unique promotions, rather than with the real signification of Christmas. People are staying in the supermarkets for hours, to investigate the best offers and then they are crowding for purchasing that super offer very well advertised through various promotional channels. Next thing, they are all staying in line for paying what they purchased, for the sake of purchasing, as they have benefitted of a great offer. People buy things that they might not even need, because it is the holiday season, when expenses are encouraged and also because products are on promotion.