Blasting Music to Drown Out Reality Critique

Topics: Writing, Mind, Essay Pages: 4 (1551 words) Published: March 1, 2011
“Blasting Music to Drown Out Reality” Critique Essay

In the essay, “Blasting Music to Drown Out Reality”, by Sydney J. Harris, the author is determined that people use music as a way to, “keep reality at arm's length”. “It is not in order to hear the music, but in order that the vacuum in their minds may be soothed by the sound, so that silence does not force them into thinking about themselves or experiencing the real world of perception and sensation.” This shows how music has be used as earplugs to block away people's connection to the world around them, to silence their troubles if only for a moment. This thesis is explicit to make sure the readers can easily identify what the author's argument is going to be when they are examining the essay. Some examples of how music being used in the text were: the young assistants blasting music from the radio, elevator music in factories and restaurants to keep the workers from falling asleep or complaining about how tedious their jobs are, and in the dentists' office where it is relatively soft and easy to ignored. Firstly, the writer uses a variety of diction to add interest and meaning to the essay such as pedantic, figurative, and subjective. Harris strives to illustrate the stupidity of society by writing in an extremely boorish language to show his superiority and higher intelligence. “The tolerance for a high decibel rate, masquerading as “music”, is in my opinion inversely proportional to the level of intelligence.” This sentence is quite confusing to readers if they were not as well read as the author, which is something he most likely intends to do. Harris chooses these fancy words to insult the young assistants, saying that how their brightness is related to how loud they hear their supposed music, therefore not remarkably smart. The effect of pedantic diction in the essay is to inflate the importance of the issues discussed, to make sure that only highly educated individuals will comprehend such...
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