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Commentary On Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius

686 words - 3 pages

"Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open." This quote by Thomas Dewar exemplifies Dave Eggers' autobiographical memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Dave Eggers uses sentence structure, diction, and specific descriptions to illustrate and get his point across to the reader. He opens up to the reader in a way I have never experienced before in my literary encounters. Although he tends to digress and seem paranoid, I feel that this makes him the real writer that literature has been missing. Every one has gone off on tangents in his or her mind about the most absurd things. People tend to be 'paranoid' about many things. Dave Eggers is an ordinary guy who likes to express himself openly in a way that many authors and writers averted from in the past.Dave Eggers is constantly in the midst of an internal struggle between two different decisions. For example, Dave ...view middle of the document...

His sentence structure is important in this memoir. His hyphenation and half written sentences better portray his ambiguity and indecisiveness in thought-making his memoir that much more real. This passage shows his very close connection to and affinity for his baby brother Toph.Dave Eggers' approach to diction involves vulgar language and profanity. His profanity is not unnecessary as some of my classmates have claimed; rather it is important to portray his uncertainty in his thoughts. Which one of us has not cursed when one is mad or frustrated? He uses different literary devices and a particular diction to let the reader understand him better as a person. He uses a dialogue in his interview with the Real World and personification when describing the cancer cells that manifest themselves as Podules. Eggers has many different ideas and perceptions floating around in his head. He feels as if it's his obligation to be the 'New Model' or even better than his own parents. Even Toph realizes this and points it out to him (page 116). Dave is very overprotective of Toph. I guess he does not want to subject him to the harsh realities of life that he has experienced. I understand the pressure Eggers is under because I am in a similar situation. Even though my sister is older than me, I still keep a watchful eye on her. When Eggers' Mom's nose was bleeding, he would not let Toph come down to see what was going on. Dave and Beth wait a while before agreeing on a baby sitter (page 106) because they feel that leaving him with a babysitter 'would cause him to feel unwanted and alone, leading to the warping of his fragile psyche.' This novel parallels The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger in many ways. In both novels, the big brother tries to preserve the innocence of the younger sibling. In A.H.W.O.S.G., Dave tries to shield the real world from Toph's eyes and in The Catcher in the Rye Holden tries to erase the profanities written in the museum, so that his younger sister Phoebe is not subjected to it. I feel that Toph as mature, if not more mature, than Dave (page 115-116).

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