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Pre-reading As you prepare to read White ’ s essay, take a few minutes to think about the place where you live or, if you have lived in several locations, the place that you know best. What is the place like? Are there different classes of people in this place or different parts with specific features or functions? How would you divide the place in terms of people, sections, and functions?
In- reading Manhattan (Par. 2): locationlocation Bowery (par. 2): encyclopedia article about Bowery.encyclopedia article about Bowery. “They tend their furnaces…winter nights.” (par. 2): to understand this sentence, you ’ ve got to know the area “ Bowery ” in Manhattan. This sentence means that the commuters just come and go in New York, but they do not know how the Bowery “ Bums" (alcoholics and homeless) live in in the same city where they work. Irving Berlin (par. 3): BiographyBiography
Building vocabulary 1. Par. 2: Mamaroneck (a town in Westchester County, north of New York City); Little Neck (a town in the borough of Queens, just across the border from Nassau County, Long Island); Teaneck (a town across the Hudson River in Essex County, New Jersey); Belvedere Tower in the Park (a stone monument in Manhattan ’ s Central Park); Manhattan (the central borough with the greatest population and the theater, business, and artists ’ districts; the Island (Long Island);
Building vocabulary The Public Library (the 42 nd street branch of the New York Public Library — the main branch); Westchester (a county county north of New York City); The Bowery (a section in downtown Manhattan inhabited by many derelicts); the financial district (Wall Street, downtown, where the banking and stock exchange offices are located); Rockefeller Centre (buildings, gardens, and skating rink in midtown); Governor’s Island (off Manhattan which houses forts);
Building vocabulary East River (the eastern border of Nanhattan and Long Island). Par. 3: Irving Berlin (song composer); Cherry street in the Lower East Side (a section of downtown Manhattan once inhabited primarily by European Jewish immigrants).
Building vocabulary 2. A. violently disturbed state B. unavoidable C. search D. nervous E. unequalled F. necessary G. Stuck at one ’ s desk H. Sleepy I. Lavish J. crafty
Understanding the writer’s ideas 3. In quest of something so that New York becomes a goal. The Italian immigrant farmer who establishes a grocery in a slum; the small town Mississippi girl who wants to escape her neighbor ’ s constant scrutiny; the mid- western boy who wants nothing less than to be a New York writer
Understanding the writer’s ideas 4. Natives: solidity and continuity; commuters: tidal restlessness; settler: nervous disposition, creativity, achievements 5. The fact that they are “ dead ” places. The second sentence of par. 2 describes them as having “ no essential vitality of its own. ”
Understanding the writer’s ideas 6. The joys of Central Park; waking to its morning or going to sleep in its nighttmies; the oaken silence of the Public Library; the furnaces of the Bowery; the extravagance of Rockefeller Center; sighting Governor ’ s Island. To play bridge while his train is buried beneath the East River.
Understanding the writer’s ideas 7. In a sense, yes. The statistics are comprised of daily riders, many of whom are the commuters who ride the same routes over and over again. 8. He means that the creative opportunities are such that the residents can “ travel farther ” in terms of personal development of a skill or inclination.
Understanding the writer’s ideas 9. The three- or for-block area in midtown Manhattan where the music publishing business is located, hence the area from which most songs used to derive
Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. “ There are roughly three New Yorks. ”— the first sentence. Ironically, White devotes most of the description to the commuter classification — the one of which he thinks the least. 2. Classification is accomplished on the basis of the three types of inhabitants of New York. White simply uses the indicator words first, second, and third. These words, in their simplicity and directness, are contrasted to the metaphoric descriptions of the sentences they initiate.
Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 3. Among others: He attributes New York ’ s “ high-stung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements ” to the commuters in the city; he attributes its “ passion ” to the settlers.
Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 5. In par. 2, he illustrates three types of settlers; in par. 3, white illustrates what commuters miss out on because they run in and out of the city. 6. White uses negation to show what the commuter does not discover about the city. 7. He is enamored of the city.
Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 8. Metaphor makes this less guidebook or treatise, more a personal, vibrant vision. A. taken in and excreted by parasites B. the strangest type C. just a stopping over place (carries through on the “ queer bird ” metaphor) D. pleasantly walking around the grass E. He has profited from it without ever taking the time to know it. F. a quiet, wood-paneled room
Understanding the Writer’s Techniques The last clause: “ but it was like going three times around the world. ”