Presentation on theme: "Week 5 Ofri, Sanders, Tan. Ofri - Language Take a look at the language of the medical profession that is used in Ofri’s essay. How does this “clinical”"— Presentation transcript:
Week 5 Ofri, Sanders, Tan
Ofri - Language Take a look at the language of the medical profession that is used in Ofri’s essay. How does this “clinical” language reflect the larger issues in Ofri’s essay? “This is a case of a twenty-three year old Hispanic female without significant past medical history who presented to Bellevue complaining of a headache.” Why do doctors say the patient “presents” rather than the patient shows signs of or came in with a headache?
Ofri – Language cont’d Medical language tends to be precise, economical, cold and distant. Is this a desirable effect for a physician or an unfortunate side effect? Do doctors deliberately use a secret code of a language to somehow perpetuate the mystery and status of doctors as somehow divine or god- like? How does Ofri use and also play down such effects?
Ofri - Structure The time period covered in Ofri’s essay is about a month. However, she does not approach the essay chronologically. She begins at the conference and then goes back, telling the story chronologically. Why does she structure time this way? What does she describe in detail and what does she skip over? What effect does this structure have on the presentation of Mercedes the patient? What effect does this structure have on how we see Ofri?
Ofri – Perspective Why does Ofri write this essay? Who is her intended audience? Doctors? Patients? Relatives of patients? Fans of t.v. medical shows? Think about what each of these intended audiences might respond to Ofri’s essay and how it might help their interaction with the medical profession.
Sanders - Language When Sanders compares the grain in the claw hammer’s wood to the grain in his grandfather and father who owned the hammer before him, he exhibits his tendency to expand metaphors that contain parallels (hammer and men). Where else does Sanders place two ideas, a tool and an aspect of character or a metaphysical observation, in parallel? Where else does he find the human in something that is not human, such as tools? How are these metaphors apt for crafting an essay about carpentry?
Sanders - Structure This is an essay about inheritance and the progression of time. How does Sanders get to the past and back to the present? Why does Sanders structure his essay around the day his father dies? What effect does this structure have on our sense of time and patterns of events? How does he emphasize parallel past events? What philosophical point is he making with this structure?
Sanders - perspective Why all the detail about carpentering procedures and tools? What is Sanders’s tone in passages about making good joints, slotting a wall or planing a board? What attitude does he have toward his work? What aspect of memory does Sanders’s narrative pattern of looking at his work and then recounting memories capture?
Tan - Language This essay is about language—all the Englishes that helped shape the way Tan saw things and made sense of the world. How easy is it to understand the English of Tan’s mother? Do you find it “vivid, direct, full of observation and imagery” as Tan does? Tan’s mother uses almost no verb tenses in her English which is probably a reflection of her native tongue. Do you see reflected in Tan’s portrayal of images, things, and ideas, her mother’s disregard for the rules of English grammar? That the most important part of communicating is the action, the thing itself, and not so much the form?
Tan – Structure How does Tan intertwine her accounts of her mother’s language, her own education, and her writing? What would be the effect if she had separated all of these out and dealt with them individually? How are different languages integrated in real life (school, home, work)?
Tan - Perspective For what audience does Tan seem to be writing this essay? American? Chinese? Popular? Scholarly? What does her choice of language, structure, and anecdotes tell the reader about her intended audience?