Nonfiction Memoir Essay

Topics: Psychological trauma, Rape, Posttraumatic stress disorder Pages: 2 (514 words) Published: March 4, 2012
Okay, I think we can all agree, that anyone who is willing to have sex at gunpoint is crazy, right? Wrong! Enter the life of Mac McClelland. Mac was an aspiring journalist in Haiti who interviewed a woman who was raped. The screams of the victim caused her so much trauma that she was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. After this incredibly traumatic event, Mac was unable to comprehend the idea of nonviolent sexual intercourse. The fear of any kind of sex was so great for her that she realizes the only way she could overcome her fear was to actually have incredibly violent sex. Through this she discovered that the best way for someone to overcome their fear is to take a counterphobic approach to it and move towards the fear rather than away from it.

It’s pretty clear why this essay was labeled an exemplary nonfiction piece based on the style in which it was written. Mac McClelland’s style is incredibly unique and effective because she uses informal language which creates the illusion that Mac is actually having a conversation with the reader. However, Mac’s use of informal language does not hinder her from getting her point across. One key example of Mac’s finesse with using informal language in her writing is when she is telling us about her ex boyfriend, Isaac. “Although we couldn’t get along as a couple, we loved and respected each other, blah blah blah.” The “blah blah blahs” are crucial here. Because, I mean, hey, using “blah blah blah” in an essay is a pretty unorthodox thing to do. It’s usually something that people only say in conversations. Through Mac’s use of informal narrative, she effectively communicates with the reader as if she is right there in the room with them.

Another style McClelland employs in this essay is the repetition of the phrase “I cried.” This effectively tells the reader just how continuous her pain was after her traumatic incident in Haiti. “I cried my face off. I cried on the plane home… I cried while I was...
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