Contents

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Contents Preface

ix

INTRODUCTION: READING AND WRITING ESSAYS

1

History and Context 1 Pleasures of the Essay 5 Types of Essays 7 Reading Essays 9 Reading Annie Dillard’s “Living Like Weasels” 10 Writing Essays 15 The Qualities of Good Writing 15 An Overview of the Writing Process 16 Planning 16 Drafting 17 Revising 18 Writing from Reading—An Example 19 Arriving at an Interpretation 30 SUSAN SONTAG’S “A Woman’s Beauty: Put-Down or Power Source?” 31 MAYA ANGELOU Graduation

35

GLORIA ANZALDÚA How to Tame a Wild Tongue FRANCIS BACON Of Studies

48

60

JAMES BALDWIN Notes of a Native Son DAVE BARRY Road Warrior

63

84 v

vi * Contents

SUSAN BROWNMILLER Femininity 88 JUDITH ORTIZ COFER The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria 94 BERNARD COOPER Burl’s 102 JOAN DIDION Marrying Absurd 113 ANNIE DILLARD Living Like Weasels

118

FREDERICK DOUGLASS Learning to Read and Write

124

GRETEL EHRLICH About Men 131 LOREN EISELEY The Flow of the River RALPH ELLISON Living with Music

136

144

RALPH WALDO EMERSON Nature 154 E.M. FORSTER What I Believe

158

ELLEN GOODMAN The Company Man

168

MARY GORDON More than Just a Shrine—Ellis Island STEPHEN JAY GOULD Women’s Brains

177

EDWARD HOAGLAND The Courage of Turtles LANGSTON HUGHES Salvation 193

185

171

Contents * vii

THOMAS JEFFERSON The Declaration of Independence

197

JAMAICA KINCAID On Seeing England for the First Time MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Letter from Birmingham Jail

206

218

MAXINE HONG KINGSTON On Discovery 236 ABRAHAM LINCOLN The Gettysburg Address

239

NICCOLÒ MACHIAVELLI The Morals of the Prince

241

NANCY MAIRS On Being a Cripple

251

N. SCOTT MOMADAY The Way to Rainy Mountain

265

MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE Of Smells 272 GEORGE ORWELL Shooting an Elephant

276

CYNTHIA OZICK The Seam of the Snail

285

RICHARD RODRIQUEZ Heading into Darkness Once Again SCOTT RUSSELL SANDERS Under the Influence

289

293

RICHARD SELZER The Masked Marvel’s Last Toehold

307

ELIZABETH CADY STANTON Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions

313

BRENT STAPLES Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space

317

viii * Contents

AMY TAN Mother Tongue

322

DEBORAH TANNEN Different Words, Different Worlds HENRY DAVID THOREAU Why I Went to the Woods JAMES THURBER University Days

329

346

353

SOJOURNER TRUTH Aren’t I a Woman

360

MARK TWAIN Reading the River

363

ALICE WALKER Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self E.B. WHITE Once More to the Lake TOM WOLFE Only One Life

376

384

MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT A Vindication of the Rights of Women VIRGINIA WOOLF The Death of the Moth RICHARD WRIGHT Writing and Reading Credits Index

413 417

394 398

390

367

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Contents

Contents Preface ix INTRODUCTION: READING AND WRITING ESSAYS 1 History and Context 1 Pleasures of the Essay 5 Types of Essays 7 Reading Essays 9 R...

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