English Essay

Topics: Irony, Education, Fiction Pages: 2 (459 words) Published: November 6, 2008
“To David, About his Education” by Howard Nemerov, explains that education isn’t always as important as you think. Nemerov supports the fact that outside knowledge and experience are far greater amenities then education alone. Nemerov advocates his theme by using literary devices such as verbal irony and tone. Nemerov mocks the way children are traditionally taught by using the devices for sarcasm to balance the pretend seriousness he conveys in the poem. For example Nemerov states, “The world is full of mostly invisible things… to find them out, things like how many times Byron goes into Texas… you have to go to school and study books.” One key literary device used in the poem is verbal irony. Verbal Irony means that the literal meaning of words is the opposite of the actual meaning. An example of this would be the list of “facts” that Nemerov clearly states in his poem. Nemerov says, “Things like the square root of Everest or how many times Byron goes into Texas… for these and the like reasons you have to go to school and study books and listen to what you are told.” Nemerov says that these facts are key and have to be known, yet the facts are absolutely nonsensical. The square root of Everest can never be achieved and Byron was a British poet who was never near Texas. Nemerov states the information this way to suggest that he does not believe these statements but other “grownups” do. Another literary device Nermerov uses is tone. Tone is the balance between sarcasm and seriousness which helps to create the poems irony. For example, Nemerov insists that all the facts stated are essential to life but they have no meaning and never result to anything. Nemerov states, “Though I don’t know what you will do with the mean annual rainfall on Plato’s Republic, or of the calorie content of the diet of worms, such things are said to be good for you.” Nemerov’s tone indicates that he does not believe in the facts taught at school because they are nonsense that does not...
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