Status Quo: When one first looks at Scott Momaday's and Alfred Kazin's works it is not apparent that they have much in common. Destabilizing Condition: However, this is not true. They both speak about their surroundings in emotional ways. Cost: If we can't see the similarities and differences between these two stories then the reader will miss out on understanding. Thesis: Both authors discuss the memory of where they grew up as a special place that brings up for one good, reverent and fond emotions and for the other conflicting emotions.
Momaday writes about growing up on the plains of Oklahoma east of the town of Mountain View in his article titled "The Homestead on Rainy Mountain Creek." His reverence for the area he grew up in is evident in the description he gives of his home and community. In describing his childhood environment, he discusses some of the history of the area. For example, in the first paragraph, he talks about how the mountain got its name. He wrote, "It is said that when the Kiowas camped on this ground, it inevitably rained, thus the name (p. 119)". Momaday shows an emotional tie to the community by writing about his family members and their history in the area. He talks about "Old Rainy Mountain School" where his grandmother attended as a young girl (p. 119). Momaday's words are not strongly emotional, but the level of historical detail that he adds to a scene when describing it gives the reader an insight into how strongly he feels about his childhood community.
Like Momaday, Kazin also demonstrates the strong emotional ties he has to his childhood community in his article entitled "My Neighborhood". Kazin's feelings for his community are demonstrated in the emotional language he uses to describe his community. An example is in the way he describes walking through a park in his neighborhood with words that could be labeled as arousing or seductive. Kazin writes, "smelling sweaty sweet...
Cited: Momaday, N. Scott. "The Homestead on Rainy Mountain Creek". Patterns for a Purpose: A Rhetorical Reader. 4th ed. Barbara Fine Clouse. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003. 119-121.
Kazin, Alfred. "My Neighborhood". Patterns for a Purpose: A Rhetorical Reader. 4th ed. Barbara Fine Clouse. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003. 124-126.
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