Rough Draft of Analysis Essay

A Writer of True Character

As a high school teenager, kids are taught to follow the five paragraph structured essay.  Students are told to religiously follow this strict format, so it is organized for the reader to understand and appeals to your specified audience.  As I start to expand and build upon my writing, I realize that a writer who ignores the status quo and lets their true character shine throughout their writing, is the most successful author.  Writers like Lynda Barry exemplify this imperative trait for lucrative writing.  By Barry not catering to the needs of her audience, her writing becomes much more creative and passionate, and her true personality of holding onto her childhood flourishes.

Barry’s essay “Two Questions,” is a phenomenal piece of writing that not only shows how an author is more successful when they go away from the five paragraph structured essay, but how their true personality should through their writing.  While Barry’s essay is more of a visual piece of artwork, the story starts off with two questions: “Is This Good? Does This Suck?”   These questions were what Barry would always ask herself when writing her essay.  She would contradict herself all the time and always wanted to make sure that the intended audience would approve of her writing.  She goes on to say that her creative mind was limited because she was afraid to take that risk of publishing an essay that showed her true character because it was very different to other traditional writers.  Barry knew that sticking to the customary five paragraph structured essay is a safe form of writing as it is organized and will have always have an appeal to your audience.  However, Barry argues that she could never truly express herself when she asked herself these two questions. She said, “The Two Questions held that part of me hostage” (64).  She finally took the leap and let her creative mind do the writing for her.  She started drawing and never stopped.  Whatever came to her mind she would put down on the paper, even if it didn’t even make sense.  Barry finally ends the essay saying that, “To be able to stand not knowing long enough to let something alive take shape!  Without the two questions so much is possible.  To all the kids who quit drawing… Come Back!”  Here, Barry refers to the kids who quit drawing, as the students who threw away their creative minds and were brainwashed by their teachers to stick to the organized, structured essays.   Barry realized that you have to make writing your own if you want it to be as strong as possible.

After analyzing Barry’s essay further, I realized that Barry was trying to get across an even deeper message to her audience.  Barry showed that when you disregard your intended audience, not only does your writing become more passionate, but also your true character shines through.  Your writing becomes a direct reflection of your personality and in Barry’s essay, her creative drawings revealed her childish attitude that she still holds onto.   Barry believes that in writing, you can’t pretend to be someone else; you have to write from your heart.  In doing so your true personality will show and it will make your writing ten times better.  You have to stay true to your values and make your writing your own.              In analyzing Barry’s essay, we see that Barry’s writing is a direct reflection of her childish personality.  First and foremost, Barry’s drawings are what let her immature behavior shine through.  For example, on page 67, we see Barry’s ghost-like figures yelling you suck at the two questions.  These characters that Barry draws, are ones that you could find in a cartoon show or a children’s video game.  Barry also draws an octopus-like creature on page 66, trapped in the corner with a monkey.  As random as it may seem, these drawings just emphasize how her childish attitude greatly influences her creative writing.  Barry also shows both of these characters yelling at old parent-like figures that are scratching their heads in confusion.  This shows that Barry is finally letting her personality shine through her writing and it is much different than what her teachers and parents told her how to write.  The parent-like figures are her teachers that told her to follow a more structured format, and the ghosts are her rebelling against them.  She doesn’t pretend to be someone who she is not and doesn’t fake her writing.  Barry wants to make it ever more clear that this immature behavior is who she is and that is how she is going to write.  She is not going to abide by what the status quo is and will be her own writer.

Another technique that Barry uses to convey her message of staying true to your personality is vital to being a successful writer, is through the shading and underlining of certain words to show emphasis.  Barry, uses different shading techniques to compare and contrast what is pertinent to her essay and what is unimportant, such as the adults in the background.  It seems that Barry darkly shades in the areas that she is trying to break away from, like the two questions, and lightly shades the areas that are a reflection of her true character, like the cartoon drawings.  This technique shows how Barry childish behavior not only shines through her writing, but is what Barry wants to reveal in her writing.  She is not afraid even if most audiences would look down upon it.   She wants to show light on it, which makes her writing ever more creative.


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