Neat Vs. Sloppy In Suzanne Britt's "Neat People Vs. Sloppy People" and Dave Barry's " Batting Clean Up and Striking Out" both author's examine just complicated human relationships can be considering how many types of personalities are out there. They both share certain literary elements, but differ immensely in the realms of tone, thesis and organization methods. Barry and Britt share many similarities in their literary elements.
Literary elements are symbols and allusions. An allusion is usually used to refer to a person, place or thing that is common knowledge, it may point to a famous event, a familiar saying or a well-known story or song (734). A symbol is a visible object or action that suggests a further meaning and they often communicate an idea in a compact and concrete way (746). They both use these literary elements to create humor in their essays. Barry for example takes the use of Pompeii saying that "men generally don't notice dirt until it forms clumps, large enough that can lead to a tragedy like the city of Pompeii (261).
Another allusion Barry uses is the reference to Edgar Allen Poe when he goes on to say that "they could feel the world series television and radio broadcast rays zinging through the air penetrating right through their bodies, causing our dental fillings to vibrate, and all the while the women were behaving as though nothing were wrong" (262). This enhances his story with suspense. Likewise Britt refers to The NewYorker by saying that "someday the sloppy people will sit down and read all the back issues of the magazine" because they are intelligent.
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A neat person she goes on to say: "would hurry up and get the whole thing over with so they can sit down and watch some good ole 'rasslin' on TV" (256). Which, is something an unintelligent person would be found watching. As far as symbols (things that have a much bigger meaning behind it) goes Barry goes on to say "that the women prattled away about human relationships or something it turned out to be an extremely pivotal game" (263). When he made that statement he was trying to say that the referring to the game of love.
In the same manner Britt went on to say that "sloppy people live in what some may call "Never Never Land" (255). What Britt was inferring with that line is that sloppy people are childlike and immature in a sense. When both authors used these symbols in their work it made their essays more humorous and relatable, it's kind of like you had no other choice but to chuckle while reading. In contrast, both authors use a very different tone towards the people they discuss in their essays. Let's take Britt for example she comes off a little harsh, stereotypical, and extremely sarcastic towards neat people.
She goes on to say that "Neat people are bums and clods at heat" (256), which can be very offensive to people who consider themselves to be neat, because that one person feels that their neatness is nothing but them being bums which may not be true. Then when Britt talks about the sloppy people it's like she's for them being the way they are, Britt went on to say “sloppy people aren't really as sloppy as they seem" (255). On the other hand, Barry is a lot more balanced in his approach of comparing men and women; he doesn't take to one side or even make the other person feel offended as Britt did.
He just states the different priorities of men and women, Barry went on to say that "the opposite side of the dirt coin, of course is sports" (262). Which shows that while women make cleaning priority men on the other, take sports as a priority. As far as thesis goes, Britt's thesis was a bit vague; having little or let's say no detail at all. Britt states that "the distinction is, as always, moral. Neat people are lazier and meaner than sloppy people"(255). She never gives detail on that point of why exactly they are considered meaner and lazier than others.
Britt leaves her audience trying to figure out where she's going with that assumption of neat people. However, when Barry comes in with his split thesis he states clearly in his first paragraph that " The primary difference between men and women is that women can see extremely small quantities of dirt" (261) which, shows that he is about to go into detail of why he made that statement about women. Then he goes on to say in the second part of his thesis that “the opposite side of the dirt coin, of course, is sports" (262) and that, he goes on to explain is the area where men tend to feel most sensitive.
In that part he goes into detail of why men are the way they are when it comes to the subject of cleaning. With the split of Barry's thesis he gives the reader a reason why he makes the certain statements which, gives his essay a laid back feel where you kind of know where things could possibly be going. In addition to the many things Britt and Barry differ on, they also use a different organization strategy. Britt uses subject by subject organization. When using subject by subject you set forth all your facts about one thing then do the same for the other. Then you some up the similarities and differences between the two (248).
Britt goes on and on about sloppy people and their sloppiness and she gives off a sense of being unbalanced when it comes to sloppy as well as neat people. For example Britt goes on to saying “For all these noble reasons and more, sloppy people will never get neat, They aim to aim to high and wide" (256). Leaving it at that only to go into more bashing of sloppy people. But Barry on the other hand, shows a keen sense of balance when he approached the matter point by point. Point by point is when you compare and contrast as you go, that way you consider one point at a time, taking up your two subjects alternately (249).
Like when Barry stated that “The primary difference between men and women, was that women can see small quantities of dirt and men can't" he brought both subjects up and explained them both, balancing what he was talking about in his essay. In short, it can be concluded that in Suzanne Britt's "Neat people Vs. Sloppy people" and Dave Barry's “Batting Clean-Up and striking Out" they examine just how complicated human relationships can be considering how many types of personalities Re out.
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