There Is No Unmarked Woman

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James Garey Jr
AP English III
“There Is No Unmarked Woman” By: Deborah Tannen Essay Analysis Who are you? Are you a unique individual? Does your appearance really reflect you? Deborah Tannen’s “There Is No Unmarked Woman” exemplifies how normal it is in this society for women to be superficially judged and “marked” on the basis of appearance. This is in contrast to men, who are given the social option to remain incomparably “unmarked” by attire. Tannen uses two specific term throughout her entire essay, marked and unmarked. Tannen analyzes our society’s peculiarity of judging women based on their appearance but not judging men based on the same circumstances throughout her essay. Tannen points out, everything a woman wear and her appearance “marks” her about while in contrast, men, can remain “unmarked” by choosing the standard regulation of dress and appearance. The appearances of these individuals are presented through the use of tone, diction, imagery, characterization and allusion. Tannen’s use of all these rhetorical devices provides the reader with a visual of the conference. Tannen uses an allusion of her being at a conference consisting of four women (including her) and eight men. Tannen’s use of imagery and characterization when the describing the individuals gave the reader a clear, descriptive picture of each of the individuals appearance. “There Is No Unmarked Woman” mainly focused on the other three women at the conference despite the fact that there was double the amount of men there. Tannen vividly described the three woman down to the last detail. From the way their clothes fitted their body to the last crinkle in their hair. She exemplified on the uniqueness of each woman and how each of them is “marked” based on their appearance. Each woman at the conference had a different style of dress, hair, make up and jewelry. Tannen said that these differentiated styles could not be “standard” and these unique appearances “mark” the women. Tannen...
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