Analysis of the conversation in McGraw’s and Ellis’s articles

McGraw Graphic OrganizerEllis Graphic OrganizerPeter McGraw and Joel Warner, in the article The Humor Code, Entry 6: Can Comedy Bring About Real Political Change?, assert that humor, when used strategically, can greatly improve the society by engaging the public to politics. Iain Ellis, on the other hand, claims that political humor is basically an interplay among politicians, media, and the public. The public have gained great power in shaping the politics, and politicians need to play with humor to promote their positive self-images in different media.

I am interested McGraw’s point that humor can effect real political change. I agree with McGraw because he address some key premises for humor to change the society. He uses Popovic, an example which shows political humor works under optimal condition. Popovic’s jokes fit well with McGraw’s benign violation theory, which states that laughter arises when a joke makes something threatening appears funny, thus alleviating the fear of the audience. “People were afraid, and humor was useful in breaking that fear” (McGraw 148). By joking, Popovic embarrasses the president, and weakens his political power. Still, I wonder if satire that occurs in small country turns out to be more effective because it can spread out quickly over the nation. In this case, the counterargument somewhat makes sense in it addresses that joking in USSR is not effective enough to make big political change.

Works Cited

Ellis, Iain. “Political Humor and Its Diss Contents.” Pop Matters, 14 Oct. 2012, Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 150-155.

McGraw, Peter and Joel Warner.Entry 6: Can Comedy Bring About Real Political Change?” Slate, 30 Mar. 2014, Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 146-148.


Analysis of Aziz Ansari’s Anti-Racist Comedy

After president Trump’s inauguration, racists started to disparage minorities. To defend the minorities, host Aziz Ansari, in a Saturday Night Live show, performs his stand-up comedy. He argues against racism using the incongruity theory, which states that humor can change the way people think by breaking tension. The audience grow tense as he talks about the lower case kkk movement, that tends to rationalize racism. But when he makes fun of racists, the audience realize that the movement is ridiculous. Ansari proceeds his argument through broaching people’s fear of Muslims. To alleviate discrimination against them, he applies benign violation, a theory that says, “humor arise when something seems wrong and threatening but is completely safe” (McGraw 133). He reveals how people fear about Muslims, and then jokes about these people of their nonsensical fear. Finally, by glorifying former president George Bush’s anti-racist action and consoling the minorities, Ansari scorches the racists and urges Trump to upend racism. Although Ansari offends racists, who support Trump, he confesses, at the beginning, that people should respect them in terms of political opinions. He tells a joke that compares Trump to the popular singer Chris Brown. This joke makes Ansari’s humor successful by creating a common ground, in which people share the understanding of Chris Brown’s music. This common ground helps Ansari to be more understandable and inoffensive. Though he continues offending racists, he gains support from the audience, making the offense worth.

Regarding racism as a serious issue, Aziz Ansari begins his defense of minorities with a statement, “I’m talking about a tiny slice of people that have gotten way too fired up about the Trump thing for the wrong reasons.” (02:30-02:36). Ansari harnesses this statement to shift the audience’s focus toward the lower case kkk movement, and he uses humor to address this problem through implementing incongruity: He stresses the audience by imitating how racists excitedly claim they do not have to pretend to be non-racists. Then, by interrupting the lines, “If you’re one of these people, please go back to pretending” (02:51-02:57), Ansari breaks the audience’s tension and attacks those aggressive racists. He continues the attack through deriding their rationale. “They see me. Trump won, go back to … where you came from. Yeah. They’re not usually geography buffs” (03:53-04:03). Ansari tells this joke to discompose racists, making them laughable instead of intimidating. He proves Critchley’s note that, incongruity creates laughter, and “by laughing at power, we expose its contingency, we realize that what appeared to be fixed and oppressive is in fact the emperor’s new clothes” (Critchley 126). Ansari sensibly uses incongruity to satirize racists, and succeeds in changing the audience’s view about them. He also testifies Mary O’Hara’s belief about humor’s social functions, “Satire is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted” (O’Hara 106). Ansari employs this belief to signify that lower case kkk movement makes minorities unsafe. But through satire, he balances the feelings of all the people.

Indeed, Ansari accomplishes refuting racists, making them embarrassed of their irrational actions. But to truly extinguish racism, Ansari should ensure that people are comfortable with minorities. To do this, Ansari leads the audience to another part of his problem, “A lot of people haven’t interacted with any brown people in normal life” (04:57-05:03), and demonstrates that brown people deserve being treated equally. He pokes fun at Muslims by applying benign violation theory, which states that humor makes things funny when the unsafe becomes safe. He first introduces most people’s feelings, “Any time they watch movies, TV shows and a character is Arabic, praying or something that scary music from ‘homeland’ is underneath it. It’s terrifying” (05:50-06:02). This sentence unsettles the audience because of their fear of Muslims. However, as he mocks Muslims, making it appears funny, the audience break into laughter and their fear toward Muslims wanes. According to Olga Khazan, “You can’t make a joke without inserting a wicked twist, and you can’t be a comedian without holding a small amount of power, for even a short period of time, over the audience” (Khazan 113). Ansari broaches Muslims to terrify the audience, gaining him the power to reveal the unsettling truth. Then, as he grasps the power, he shifts the atmosphere and progressively lessens their anxiety through humor. Eventually, he makes people laugh, and they realize that the fear is unnecessary.

After using humor to convince people that racism is absurd, Ansari, with a more emphatic attitude, furthers that president Trump should make a speech denouncing lower case kkk (06:32-06:40). Ansari employs George Bush, a former president of United States, to illustrate what a real president should do: After 9/11, Bush made a speech to denounce terrorists, and clarified that they do not represent Islam. Ansari appreciates Bush speaking for his argument, and uses delightful tone to praise Bush, “He guided us with his eloquence!” (07:44-08:00). Ansari harnesses this tone to empower the minorities, who are disappointed about Trump’s inauguration. He also consoles them by asserting, “If you look at our history, change doesn’t come from president. Change comes from large groups of angry people” (08:17-08:29) He uses this statement to encourage minorities to fight against racism if it still prevails.

So far, Ansari has provided a sounding argument against racism by using humor. Though his jokes offend racists, Ansari identifies with them at the beginning of the comedy. He points out that people should not disparage racists, part of the voters for Trump, and gives credit to them through a shared common ground, that is, knowing the popular singer Chris Brown. Chris Brown’s music has some characteristics that receive different comments from the population, and Ansari applies analogy to compare him with Trump, “Donald Trump is basically the Chris Brown of Politics” (01:54-02:01). Ansari acknowledges that people should respect others even if they hold different political standing. He also admits that split in political opinions, compared to racism, is not a big deal, “As long as we treat each other with respect and remember we are all Americans it will be fine” (02:14:02:20). From this sentence, he can distinguish between political conflict and racism; though Ansari offends racists later, he accomplishes in justifying his arguments against them.

In conclusion, Ansari presents a compelling comedy that targets toward racism. Though he explicitly discusses Trump’s inauguration and motivates people to respect Trump supporters, Ansari disagrees with racists, whom he offends through humor. He applies the incongruity theory to ridicule their reckless discrimination against minorities during the lower case kkk movement. By doing this, Ansari changes the audience’s view about the racists, making them appear funny. He also uses benign violation theory to tell people that interacting with minorities is fine. Finally, Ansari regards George Bush as a model against racism to persuade Trump to take similar actions. Should the racism still exist, Ansari encourages the minorities to defeat racism on their own.


Works Cited

“Aziz Ansari Stand-Up Monologue – SNL.” YouTube, uploaded by Saturday Night Live, 22 Jan.2017,

Critchley, Simon. “Did You Hear the One About the Philosopher Writing a Book on Humour?”Think, vol. 1, no. 2, Autumn 2002, pp. 103-112, in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC SanDiego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 122-131.

Khazan, Olga. “The Dark Psychology of Being a Good Comedian.” Atlantic, 27 Feb. 2014, Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 112-115.

McGraw, Peter and Joel Warner. “Entry 1: What, Exactly, Makes Something Funny?” Slate, 23Mar. 2014, Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 132-135.

O’Hara, Mary. “A Serious Business: What Can Comedy Do?” Mosaic, 23 Aug. 2016, Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore,2017, pp. 104-111.



I am grateful for my instructor Dr. Gocsik for facilitating me to write analysis effectively. I also appreciate my mentor Sarah for giving suggestions to my focus on the essay. My groupmates Flory and Shuli provide common reader responses and rhetorical analyses to help me revise the essay sensibly.

Introduction to Analysis of Aziz Ansari’s Anti-Racist Comedy

After president Trump’s inauguration, Trump supporters, most of whom are racists, started to disparage minorities. To defend the minorities, host Aziz Ansari, in an Saturday Night Live show, performs his stand-up comedy. He disagrees with racism using the incongruity theory, which states that humor can change the way people think by breaking tension. The audience grow tense as he talks about the lower case kkk movement, that tends to rationalize racism. But when he makes fun of racists, the audience realize that the movement is ridiculous. Ansari proceeds his argument through broaching people’s fear of Muslims. To alleviate discrimination against them, he applies benign violation, a theory that says, “humor arise when something seems wrong and threatening but is completely safe” (McGraw 133). He reveals how people are horrified by Muslims, and then jokes about these people of their nonsensical fear. Finally, by glorifying former president George Bush’s anti-racist action and consoling the minorities, Ansari scorches racists and urges Trump to upend racism. Although he offends Trump voters, Ansari confesses, at the beginning, that people should respect them by telling a joke that compares Trump to the popular singer Chris Brown. This joke makes Ansari’s humor successful by creating a common ground, which [calms Trump voters down and] makes his argument more understandable [and inoffensive].


Central idea Joke & theory applied How this work
Racists should go back to pretending. “Go back to … They’re not usually geography buffs.”

“We’re not leaving.”


Incongruity theory

Turn against Trump voters who support racism; further alleviate offense toward audience.


Break audience’s tension, change their mind.


Afflict the comfortable.

People haven’t interacted with minorities in normal life. Trump should be responsible. Minorities, don’t worry. “Ahh! What are they saying! God is good, normal religious stuff.”


Benign violation theory

Comfort the afflicted.


Make the unsafe safe, the serious silly.


Act as a social corrective.

Deal with the offense: People should respect voters for Trump. “Donald Trump is basically the Chris Brown of politics.”


Common ground theory

Good reasoning, persuasive.


Make them open to Ansari’s arguments.


Reduces offense toward most of the audience.


Works Cited

“Aziz Ansari Stand-Up Monologue – SNL.” YouTube, uploaded by Saturday Night Live, 22 Jan.2017,

McGraw, Peter and Joel Warner. “Entry 1: What, Exactly, Makes Something Funny?” Slate, 23Mar. 2014, Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 132-135



I am grateful for my instructor Dr. Gocsik for facilitating me to write introduction to analysis effectively. I also appreciate my mentor Sarah for giving suggestions to my focus on the essay. My groupmates Flory and Shuli provide common reader responses and rhetorical analyses to help me revise the introduction sensibly.

Analysis of the sources employed by O’Hara and Khazan in their writings

To persuade others of certain arguments throughout an article, credible evidence is required to support them. Evidence may not come from the writer itself, but is given by the stakeholders who have something agrees with the writer. Both O’Hara and Khazan used this technique to make their claims sound.

In Mary O’Hara’s A Serious Business: What Can Comedy Do?, there were a lot of guests with different occupations that are interested in the issue of humor’s effects on people. Maeve Higgins, a comedian, was the first guest to speak in the conversation. She said, “Laughter is a lubricant and is expected, and it’s really hard not to do it.” This sentence tells the audience to think of humor positively. Then, Jon Ronson, a colleague of Higgins, asserted comedy makes people connected, better their feelings. Peter McGraw & Joel Warmer, in their work The Humor Code: A global search for what makes things funny, explained that ancient Greek scholars contemplated about comedy and set the basis for Western philosophy at the same time. The writer also invited some historical figures to represent humor. “Charles Darwin looked for the seeds of laughter in the joyful cries of tickled chimpanzees. Sigmund Freud sought the underlying motivations behind jokes in the nooks and crannies of our unconscious.” Of course, John Hobbes, a philosopher, was the guest the writer wanted to challenge because he claimed “humor is ostensibly about mocking the weak and exerting superiority,” opposing the writer’s argument, and also the cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems’, which thought humor is a great way for human evolution by letting them not use actual weapons to hit others.

Despite the comedy’s ability to deal with interpersonal relationships, there were certain invited guests who thought humor has social functions. Avner Ziv, a scholar, insisted comedy, along with satire, is potentially useful in reforming society. Negin Farsad furthered the idea by saying humor is a platform for advancing social justice. Josie Long had her own insights when performing her comedy since she believed that comedians have a role to play in articulating and challenging some of the most pressing issues of the day. “Satire is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.” This saying is meaningful that it addresses what we concern. Sophie Quirk, on the other hand, proved Long’s point by giving out the fact that comedians are always focusing on social issues and try to resolve them. For instance, John Fugelsang had political comedy be righteous in it delivers the truth to the audience. Stephen K. Amos, on the other hand, told us he does explicit work in affairs that matter to himself to fight against stereotypes. Alfie Moore, also thanked his comedy career in bringing his vocation – policing – to the eyes of the viewers. Liz Carr also entertained a lot of topics and ideas that are related to the disabled to break the barriers with the “normal” people. (In fact, she is also one of them.)

O’Hara invited a few more stakeholders to express their ideas in convincing the readers to take comedy seriously. Sharon Lockyer, a social scientist, examined disabled comedians and observed that comedy industry has made the disabled change from those being mocked to those mocking someone or something else. From the detail inside the field of comedy, there are, to a larger scale, lots of comics who are making a lot of money distribute comedy into diverse ways and forms. Sophie Quirk and Scott Weems made a reprise to this discussion. Quirk claimed that there is more value in humor even it is not linked to serious subject. And Weems, based on relative research studies, discovered that comedy has benefits to people’s health and well-being. Finally, Jamie Masada ended this conversation by saying that comedy can make people’s relationships better, and it has positive effect on resolving social issues, summarizing all the assertions made by various supporting stakeholders.

In Olga Khazan’s The Dark Psychology of Being a Good Comedian, a different argument is held, and there is one recurring guest, psychologist Peter McGraw, that accompanies the writer to come up with the conclusion about the comedians’ psychology. There are also other stakeholders that impacts the writer’s claim. Firstly, Lorne Michaels, a comedian, during the first show after 9/11, expresses his own distress of not wanting to perform in the context of the huge disaster. Gilbert Gottfried, on the other hand, is criticized because of his frivolous joke about the event. The Onion staffers feel hesitant about the risk of publishing humorous news, but after publishing the reports, they are found successful in reliving the terror of readers. This fact reflects McGraw’s theory that comedy is half-dark and half-light. Hobbes and Plato suggested that making fun helps people feel superior to others. People opposing this idea were Kant and later psychologists, who thought humor is a cognitive strategy in mocking others to make oneself feel better. Freud speculated that humor is a component of the id that outcompetes the protesting superego. Daniela S. Hugelshofer held the similar idea by saying humor acts as a buffer against bad emotions. Some other evolutionary psychologists posit that humor can endow males with better fitness in sexual selection. McGraw quoted what Mark Twain said, “The secret source of humor itself is not joy, but sorrow.” and furthered this sentence with evidence from the former part of the article. Warner, McGraw’s co-author, noticed that different geographies have different perspectives about humor; besides that, different times, and even different people have varied thoughts of jokes, thus marking comedians as careful in preparing for what they are going to say.

One of the specific sources that I want to articulate about is Josie Long, who intends to answer the question about whether comedy can change how we feel, what we think or even what we do. In attempting to refute potential misinterpretation of jokes, she said “It’s vital to understand the job comedy can do in actively providing a counterbalance to bigotry and prejudice.” Normally we think comedy can only make us laugh, but Josie Long, being experienced with the humor, has her own credible idea of comedy. The writer incorporates this source in order to proceed and exemplify the discussion of humor’s role in human society after Negin Farsad’s generalization that “comedy provides a platform for advancing social justice”.


Works Cited

O’Hara, Mary. “A serious business: what can comedy do?” Mosaic, 23 Aug. 2016,

Khazan, Olga. “The Dark Psychology of Being a Good Comedian.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 27 Feb. 2014,

Rhetorical Analysis of Man’s Search for Meaning

During the time around World War II, psychoanalysis had set its reputation in the field of psychology. Nevertheless, new theories of interpreting psychological factors arose and got new attention from the public – logotherapy was one of them. In Man’s Search for Meaning, the author explicated on his experience in concentration camp and the lessons derived from his sufferings. These things obtained him new insights about logotherapy as he explored deeper into the psychology of human beings.

Of course, the first part of this book took a long account telling the experience, but what’s more important is the three phases of the prisoners inside the concentration camp. “When one examines the vast amount of material which has been amassed as the result of many prisoners’ observations and experiences, three phases of the inmate’s mental reactions to camp life become apparent.” (P22) As Frankl observed the prisoners’ behaviors, he generalized them into three discontinuous segments, and took separated paragraphs to illustrate several examples of these phases. Moreover, the story was not written in chronological order, but rather in the form of different episodes that included different characters’ interactions. The full book itself is in first person, but besides the introspection Frankl took about his own experience in the concentration camp, it also encompassed other people’s thoughts about their own life’s meanings, as Frankl concluded from his observations: “It can be readily understood that such a state of strain, coupled with the constant necessity of concentrating on the task of staying alive, forced the prisoner’s inner life down to a primitive level.” (P40) Obviously, the author took his voice to convey the meanings that various factors implemented inside the camp might contribute to the mental disorder of the prisoners. By contrast, therefore, the author, having blocked the negative impacts of these factors, has gained the credibility of explaining what he envisioned about logotherapy.

The second part, being more naturally theoretical, describes his own psychological theory. In this part, Frankl explored on the way his school of psychology came into maturation, including his experiences of being a psychotherapist and his patients’ diagnosis. As he proposed several basic components involved in logotherapy, he also postulated this theory as similar but different from psychoanalysis: “Logotherapy, in comparison with psychoanalysis, is a method less retrospective and less introspective. Logotherapy focuses rather on the future, that is to say, on the meanings to be fulfilled by the patient in his future.” (P104) Through this explanation, Frankl successfully arrived at a new concept for the society to be learned, that is, looking forward to the dreams people have, and the motivation they inherently possess instead of neurosis. Compared to Freud’s relatively emphatic tone in The Interpretation of Dreams, Frankl tries to be communicative with the readers to introduce this seemingly sophisticated topic, thus making them readily capable of understanding his psychological theory’s concepts.

The postscript plunges into the optimism beyond tragic situations. As he mentioned, people suffers in different degrees, they have distinct views about their lives: some people are capable of coping with stressors while others are not. This distinction had given the readers a warning sign about their own attitudes toward living. Traumatic events and daily hassles all implement on the psychological well-being of men, so “the human capacity to turn creatively turn life’s negative aspects into something positive or constructive” (P139) is rather a fundamental part of Frankl’s ideal about tragic optimism. It is easy to observe this pattern during our learning of ideals of human emotion, stress, and health. Therefore, if the previous two parts are said to be describing his own psychological theory, the postscript answers the readers’ confusion of the theory’s application through connecting concepts of logotherapy to the general knowledge in the field of psychology.

Life has a meaning. Throughout this book, this central theme almost surrounds the entire text to testify different people’s fates inside the concentration camp, as they have diverged degree of hopefulness. Frankl often quoted Nietzsche’s maxim, “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.” (P5) This sentence emphasizes his belief that men possess the ability to choose what is meaningful in his life. There are also a lot of arguments inside the first part. For instance, love gives life meaning. As the Frankl thought about his wife in the concentration camp, he could be relieved from the hardships he experienced: He did not know about his wife’s status, but was rather empowered by taking the emotional burden he had for thinking of her. In author’s view, religion also gives life meaning, as individuals are aware of the assignments the divinity gives for them a reason to survive. What’s surprising to the readers, still, is Frankl’s idea that suffering gives life meaning. He was not frustrated with the will to meaning though he was in bad conditions. He suffered for his loss to honor something he once owned.

The intended audience, ostensibly, is those who have experienced intense stresses in any way. Just like what the author mentioned about his life in concentration camp and other patients’ accounts, they could, in some way, be connected to the powerful message of this book about dealing with those stressors. It also has certain identification with people who have other sufferings, such as oppression or persecution, though not physically implemented, could also hurt their feelings. They might find some ways to cope with the stresses through the exploration of this book. Nevertheless, even people with relatively easy lives could find ways to connect to this book. They surely have gained adequate success, and possibly possess need for achievement. However, Frankl still prompted them to find deeper levels of their lives’ meanings. We adolescents, who are susceptible to identity and role confusion, can also be enlightened by this book’s reflection on purposes of people’s life circumstances and choices.


Frankl, V. (1992) Man’s Search for Meaning (Fourth Edition.). Boston, MA: Beacon Press

Analysis of Beowulf: Conflicts between Religious Beliefs and Actions of Characters

Although Beowulf was written after the Anglo-Saxons were slowly converted to Christianity, their old Pagan traditions still had great residual influences and made Beowulf an integration of pagan heroic ideals and Christian beliefs. Despite of gradually accepted Christian beliefs at that time, the opposite pagan Germanic actions emerge throughout Beowulf. Particularly, Christian values of God’s judgment, humility and eternal rewards conflicts with characters’ actions of making judgments by vengeance, proudly boasting and pursuing secular rewards.

The mortal makes judgments due to vengeance violates Christian beliefs of judgment by merciful God. For instance, at the celebration at Heorot after Beowulf defeating Grendel, Beowulf says, Grendel, “like a man outlawed for wickedness, he must await the mighty judgment of God in majesty” (134). But later, after recognizing Grendel’s corpse, “Beowulf cut the corpse’s head off” furiously (148). Beowulf’s own words demonstrate his Christian beliefs that it is God who makes judgments of Grendel, Beowulf’s enemy. However, Beowulf’s ensuing action of decapitating Grendel indicates that it is Beowulf himself who decides the outcome and doom of Grendel. Therefore, the Christian belief that God judges the mortal, including the enemies, contradicts to Beowulf’s action that indicates the right of heroes to take revenge and judge their enemies.

Furthermore, Christian ideals of humility and mighty God contradict to individual boasts. For example, at another celebration at Heorot after Beowult defeats Grendel’s mother, he says, “if God had not helped me, the outcome would have been quick and fatal” (150). But, previously, as Beowulf encounters the Danish watchmen when arriving at the coast, he proudly boasts about his great lineage and former heroic triumphs. And during the first feast at Heorot, Beowulf again formally boasts himself. The quotation here indicates that Beowulf attributes his heroic deed and victory to the mighty Christian God. In the contrary, his frequent actions of boasts show little about Christian typical humility but pagan heroic pride. Therefore, the Christian belief of humility and that all mightiness belongs to God stands in contrast to the action of proudly boasting oneself.

Finally, Christian idea of eternal rewards stands in contrast to worldly pursuits in reality. For instance, at the celebration at Hoerot for Beowulf’s successful fights against Grendel’s mother, Hrothgar speaks to Beowulf, “Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part, eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride. For a brief while your strength is in bloom but it fades quickly” (152). Hoerot’s words demonstrate that life is fleeting and people should pursue eternal rewards instead of worldly ones. Meantime, Hrothgar gives Beowulf significant amount of worldly rewards for his defeats of Grendel’s mother, indicating that it’s right to reward worldly treasure to honor heroic deeds. As a result, the Christian belief of pursuits for eternal rewards contradicts to giving secular rewards as accumulation of honor.

In all, characters’ pagan ideal actions of making judgments by vengeance, frequent boast and pursuit for worldly rewards violates their Christian beliefs of judgment by God, humility and pursuit for eternal rewards, resulting in undeniable conflicts between newly accepted Christian beliefs and traditional pagan actions.


Works Cited

Martin Puchner. Beowulf. Translated by Seamus Heaney. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 3nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012

Analysis of Evaluation of I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read

Education has been a widespread debate for years. It invloves various items to be tested, competed, and accomplished. Nevertheless, reading, an essential task for us to complete, is discussed and evaluated by a famous American writer, Francine Prose, who published a lot of her works about society and humanity.

In this evaluation, the author pointed out that many schools were proposing for reading lists that circumscribed what students should read to enhance their study skills. However, the establishment of reading lists could be destructive for someone who enjoyed reading something different from schools’ popular views. The destructiveness could be defined as these students’ frustration and unsatisfaction about the restriction of reading. By using simile to compare caged birds with students, Prose asserted that schools’ making read lists was notorious and should be eliminated in order to develop students’ individual personalities. Furthermore, the author used various writers’ books to exemplify the differences in contents that bestow students with dinstinct points of view. For instance, Kafka’s works contained some kinds of irony toward that present social situation that strongly recalled readers’ sympathy, while To Kill A Mocking Bird, a book written by Harper Lee, could be regarded as the amalgam of family affection and, of course, the presence of inequality at that time. The author was carful to analyze even a sentence from these books to subjectively present her idea about these values imparted from them. The application of qualitative evaluation was quite efficient that she successfully indicated that students ought to be allowed to read their favorite books, not compulsory one.

To better interpret her argument, Prose gave out her own childhood experience. Being compelled to read books from the reading lists, she disagreed with her teachers’ view that children’s reading should be rigorously evaluated, even though the books were interesting for her. Rather, the author proposed that people should not just read some books in only one way. Instead, they might look for some information or emotion that were demonstrated by certain kinds of books. Although they were rarely sold, these books could be more valuable for people who sought to learn about some specific things that were actually not found in those famous books. As a result, Prose came to conclude that reading lists were too subjective and should be neglected for people who had different favors or desires for learning.

Rhetorical Analysis of The Locavore’s Dilemma

Problems about locavores are widespread controversial topics that initiate various debates about what should be given regarding locavores’ intention, yet in this article, Pelletier claims that there exists a dilemma facing their appetites. With balanced but bigoted tone, the passage gives out comprehensive analysis of this issue.

First of all, the author point out the definition of this word: The “locavores” as they are called, claim that 100-mile food is the way to a more sustainable agriculture and consumption. But he also points out some exception, such as coffee drinkers and chocolate addicts, living in Vancouver, a city that lacks the resources needed to supply the products they need.

Then, Pelletier expands this range toward the manufacture of such products. Deficiency of the materials will heavily strike the farms, markets and factories in that place. Thus, the author endows the definition of locavores with the application of such domesticated animals that are dependent on the feeds. The lack of qualities will further cause the famine of local people.

To defend his claim, he asserts that the concept of local consumption is not that kind of production with materials produced 3000 miles away, in his way, he could say that this kind of diet needs amendment: The emphasis should not be so much on local as it should be about the search for efficient and low environmental impact. Consecutive evidence confirms that transports are not important factors that affect the prices and qualities of the goods. Rather, location exerts huge effects toward the locavores.

In the last paragraph, the author reclaims the definition of locavores, while the importance of access to food is generally emphasized throughout this article, since it will not only influence the local consumers, but also impact other creatures demanding those local products.



Works Cited

A. Lunsford, Andrea; J. Ruszkiewicz, John; Walters Keith. Everything’s an argument. 6th ed. New York: Boston, 2012.

Pelletier, Christophe. The Locavore’s Dilemma. Canada: Vancouver, 2010.

Process Analysis: Scientific Investigation

Science is an interesting subject, not only because of its wideness. The most important spirit of science is to dive deeply into the sea of nature. For instance, scientific investigation is one of the most effective methods for development of science. Especially in the field of biology and geology, scientific investigation is an excellent tool to prove such hypothesis. Based on nothing harmful for the ecosystem, investigators could proceed a large amount of research strategies.

Generally, to complete a scientific investigation, we have 3 steps: First, choose a place, a time, and write a plan. Second, go to that place and collect some facts. Third, analyze the facts we get and draw a conclusion. Strategies are also significant, here I would like to show my own experience about this process.

About two years ago, some people and I went to investigate a wetland park that was placed inside a natural protection area. Our aim was to discover how plants in this area affect this system. It was autumn, deciduous leaves turned yellow, and reed was obviously stood in the lake. All the wetland seemed tranquil. Except for some birds’ tweeting and our discussing, there were no other sounds. I couldn’t help myself to record my first impression at that time. Mostly, researchers would like to choose spring to conduct their investigations because all the creatures come out and behave actively. However, autumn is also a good season for investigators, isn’t it? The scenario will be different from what you often see, and what you compose will be different from what most researchers write. Also, the aim should fit the conditions,  autumn will not influence animals as well.

The main populations inside this park must be mangroves, these evergreen trees are only visible in tropic areas. They demand a lot of aspects of conditions so that they could live perfectly. It is more suitable for them to live beside salty intertidal belts. Actually, they also need little anaerobic environment to live, and there shouldn’t be so much powder diffused in the air. That seems very bizarre because most plants would like to live in nearly different conditions, they need oxygen to proceed their respiration. But since mangroves’ adaptation of the moist atmosphere, oxygen isn’t important for them. I asked professor about the principle, she just said that, “They utilize their cells to take in more water than other plants, and the result is that they could be strong enough to prevent them from being attacked by typhoon.” By that time I nodded. Try to think something in new angles, you will find some advantages for these kind of trees’ characteristics. If face some difficulties, asking some experts is also a great choice.

Since mangroves are defenders in a way, there should be some secrets about their abilities to make a living. We had opportunities to closely approach a mangrove tree. During observation, we knew that mangroves had a lot of branched roots that make the ground irregular, and a center root was directly insert into the land. Tangled together, the roots made the trees tough. In order to adapt surrounding environment, some trees would develop fleshy leaves to keep water. They were able to control the concentration of salts freely, because the crystals on the surface of the trees could be the evidence. We also found some pod-like objects and found some embryonic roots inside it, some of the mangroves can even be viviparous! Across these surprising discoveries, it is undoubted to say that mangroves could be the winners after natural selection. Remember, observation is the most important tool to get the firsthand information, and compare it to the others, you could know some more details.

In Chinese, mangroves meant “red trees”. But why these trees’ leaves were not red? Professor answered, “We name them because of the colors of their barks, not their leaves. You may imagine that their leaves should be red, but actually they are green as well as other common plants.” Look carefully, the barks of them were really slightly redder than those of other trees. “From these barks, we can extract some chemicals such as tannin to produce red dye.” said professor. “But for Kandelia candel, a kind of mangrove, which is green everywhere in its body, is also belongs to the same genus. The reason is that it is viviparous, and the seeds are deep red. That’s why it is linked to ‘red trees’.”

The most important thing during scientific investigation is still the spirit of discovering and curiosity. If we have passion to proceed this process, it will be an eureka moment if we find the answer to a confusing puzzle. Of course, we will also be delighted since we are willing to denote for this research.

In general, scientific investigation is very interesting process. If you really do it, you will find it not only let you know more things about nature but also make you more experienced in the wild world.


Analysis of My Schedule

ScheduleMany students seek to balance their affairs into a satisfying extent, but realities always violate their ideals. To analyze then prioritize time arrangement, it is rational to use some tools to facilitate the process. For instance, the Friedman Model, a demonstration about the distribution in work, home, community and self, is considered effective.

This is the primary pattern of my time arrangement:

Work Home Community Self
45% 20% 25% 10%

Why I would come up with this graph? There are a lot of reasons that lead to my time schedule. First of all, work, which is considered as the most important aspect of my time arrangement, looks too enormous that its size shocks me. But in fact, I really regard work as essential for myself, since I have to prepare for so many exams that I cannot pay much attention to other aspects. Rather, since organizational skills are heavily emphasized in my campus, coorperating these aspects is well illustrated. Although work occupies most of my time, its circle overlaps all other three aspects, which could lead to the harmony between work and one of the three aspects. For instance, while I’m working for my research program to reach my academic goals, I’m also doing something helpful for the development of the entire society.

Home, sadly, is not well placed in my schedule. Since there are hardly bad situations that come out of my family, I seldom put emphasis on its issues. Rather, my parents are supportive of many of my decisions, and I could say that home acts as the place which I could develop the relationships with others and also do works. Therefore, home is well compatible to two other elements.

Community is also well-regarded as one of my time arrangement, because everytime I communicate with people may accounts for my life experience that basically develop such relationships that are helpful for my accomplishment of my works. Also, it does help deal with some of my family issues that cannot be resolved merely by myself. It also acts as one of the media of the sharing of my secrets that are not shared with my family.

Then we come to self. Though only occupies small portion of my schedule, it is truly important in my self-interest. I watch some American TV series and cartoons that develop my English skills, and they implicitly help me better involved in my community.