March 3 2013
Essay: “The Story of An Eyewitness” and
This essay is based on “The Story of an Eyewitness” by Jack London and “Leaving Desire” by Jon Lee Anderson. “The Story of an Eyewitness” talks about how the San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed the city in 1906. “Leaving Desire” talks about a victim of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. London and Anderson’s coverage of these disasters are different in several ways. Some examples of their differences are portrayed in the author’s purpose, the achievement of their purpose, and the authors focus.
- Purpose for Writing
London’s purpose for writing is to describe the destruction of San Francisco from the earthquake and fire. London describes the effects the disasters had on the city. For example, “The earthquake shook down in San Francisco hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of walls and chimneys… I passed through Union Square. It was packed with refugees. Thousands of them had gone to bed on the grass. Government tents had been set up…” this describes how the disasters had an effect on the living conditions in the city. London describes the attitude of the people in San Francisco, which is sort of a hopeless feeling because they knew that their valuables and their own selves couldn’t be rescued. In the text, “ ‘yesterday morning’ he said, “I was worth six hundred thousands dollars. This morning this house is all I have left. It will all go in fifteen minutes.” The victim of the earthquake has an attitude of ‘there is nothing I can do’ (hopeless), and London doesn’t really state it but its apparent by what the victim says. London Also describes the remains of San Francisco, which is barely anything. In the article he writes, “San Francisco is gone. Nothing remains of it but memories and a fringe of dwelling houses on its outskirts.” This plainly states that everything is gone, but further into...
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