AP Lang&Comp 11A
17 December 2014
Time Write Rewrite
In Debra Marquart’s 2006 memoir
The Horizontal World
, the author uses allusions, tone
shifts, and an anecdote to characterize the upper Midwest as a place with possibilities, just misunderstood.
The author alludes to specific people and quotes to emphasize how others misunderstand the upper Midwest. Marquart quotes a comedian who says the Midwest “spawns both tornadoes and Republicans,” even though everyone knows comedians like to exaggerate things to an unreal degree. Garrison Keillor describes the place as above average while the Coen Brothers describe the place as macabre, both in a fictional story that shouldn’t be trusted. Both Major Stephen Long and Richard Manning describe the area as messy and unfit for the people as it was then, even though the land had “easy inclines and farmable plains,” further emphasizing the untrustworthiness of these negative opinions. These allusions all show how the negative views on the upper Midwest are fake and exaggerated and that they should not be trusted. Marquart uses many words to describe the upper Midwest, shifting the tone from negative to positive. The author uses words such as “lonely,” “treeless,” “devoid,” “dreary,” and “unimpressive” to emphasize how other people think of the upper Midwest. However, she mocks these views by saying the Midwest is “devoid of stories” yet has so many myths surrounding it.
She also criticizes how the people did not understand the value of the region, that Edwin James declared the land “a dreary plain” even with its “easy inclines and farmable plains.” In the second half of the passage, Marquart starts talking of her own views about the place, using words such as “Heartland,” “perfect,” and “well behaved.” This shift from a critical tone to a proud one makes the readers first realize that the negative views are not to be trusted, thus making it easier ...
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