December 13, 2014
In 1914, World War I began and was commonly referred to around the world as “The War To End All Wars” and “The Great War”. As volunteers for the war ran out, the government had to go into a draft. As names were getting pulled, the soon to be soldiers were being pulled out as just a number, not even a name. Following the conclusion of World War I was the emergence of The Great Depression. “Millions of people were out of work, and there was an alarming concern for the elderly and retired Americans who had lost everything. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the original Social Security Act into law. At that time, the US was just beginning to recover from the Great Depression and the program was intended to be -and essentially still is today - a social insurance program. It is a government-run program providing economic security to our citizens” (“Social”). In E.B. White's “About Myself”, it can be seen how White viewed numbers as dehumanizing. Today, our numbers seem as secretive as our fingerprints. We buy shredders to obliterate any papers with the very numbers White puts out for all to see: "My social security number is 067-01-9841. I am married to US Woman Number 067-01-9807.” In "About Myself" E.B. White satirizes the American government in order to persuade American citizens to stop describing people using numbers because it is dehumanizing. E.B. White uses emphasis to satirize the American government in order to persuade American citizens to stop describing people with numbers. For example, White talks about how he and his father were both of “medium height”. This strategy appeals to American citizens because it makes them think about how the one time it would have been appropriate to use numbers as a descriptive term, he decides to use an adjective. By using an adjective versus using a number is shows how he would then become indistinguishable amongst most Americans. One...
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