Summary/Critique of “Monuments to Our Better Nature”
Summary/Critique of “Monuments to Our Better Nature” When choosing what story to read out of “75 Readings An Anthology” one caught my eye; “Monuments to Our Better Nature”. This caught my eye because I was intrigued to see what kind of monuments Byers talked about in the story. The moment I read he was talking about the monuments in Washington D.C. I knew this was the story I wanted to summarize and critique. During my spring break of my 9th grade year I visited D.C. and visited all of the monuments and fell in love with the city and everything about it and I had always been a history buff. In this narrative Byers successfully uses several literary techniques to describe his past in Washington D.C. and his time at the Monuments, I believe that he does this in a good manner and I agree with most to everything he states. In the story Byers describes his time at each individual monument in D.C. and puts his two cents about each and every monument. First off he talks about the behavior of everyone visiting the different monuments and how they act. Byers states, “Americans are not known for good behavior in public, but here we come subdued, reflective.” (60) While reminiscing about the Lincoln Memorial. During this excerpt about the Lincoln Memorial he emphasizes how Lincoln is sitting on a throne gazing over the mall. Byers’ continues on to the Jefferson Monument and writes about how it isn’t has popular as all of the other monuments. He continues to talk about the other monuments but never goes into great depth about them. And at the end Byers leaves the reader with this, “ Who can stand on the top step of the Lincoln Memorial and not think. I am a participant in a world civilization, I have history entrusted to me, we are all in this together- and feel it, for a minute or two, as the simple, honest truth.” (62) The main point of “Monuments to Our Better Nature” by Michael Byers in my eyes is to put the Mall in D.C. and all of the monuments in D.C. into
Cited: Byers, Michael. “Monuments to Our Better Nature.” 75 Readings: An Anthology. Eds. Santi V. Buscemi and Charlotte Smith. New York; McCraw-Hill, 2010. 58-62. Print.