Compare and Contrast of Quindlen and Lutz
Upon reading and examining two essays, “Life under the chief doublespeak officer” a narrative by William Lutz and “Homeless”, a descriptive by Anna Quindlen, I firmly believe that Quindlen provides the preferred essay due to the gravity of her subject, greater personal relevance, and that her material allows the reader to sympathize with the subject matter.
William Lutz’s essay addresses the growing trend in Corporate America to disguise actions with words and or phrases that mask the intention of the company. In Lutz’s essay he says,” With doublespeak, banks don't have "bad loans" or "bad debts"; they have "nonperforming assets" or "nonperforming credits" which are "rolled over" or "rescheduled." Corporations never lose money; they just experience "negative cash flow," "deficit enhancement," "net profit revenue deficiencies," or "negative contributions to profits." (Lutz, n.d.) Lutz’s point is well taken, however the cynicism detected removes any sincere attempt to gain sympathy from the reader. Quindlen, however, addresses a heavy topic that deserves more than just a passing read, and that is being homeless. Immediately into the essay, Quindlen introduces the reader to Ann, a vagrant that has been “passing through” for two weeks. In their conversation, Ann produces a photograph from which Quindlen says this, “They were not pictures of family, or friends, or even a dog or cat, its eyes brown-red in the flashbulb's light. They were pictures of a house. It was like a thousand houses in a hundred towns, not suburb, not city, but somewhere in between, with aluminum siding and a chain-link fence, a narrow driveway running up to a one-car garage, and a patch of backyard. The house was yellow. I looked on the back for a date or a name, but neither was there. There was no need for discussion. I knew what she was trying to tell me; for it was something I had often felt. She was not adrift, alone, anonymous, although her bags and her raincoat with the grime shadowing its creases had made me believe she was. She had a house, or at least once upon a time had had one. Inside were curtains, a couch, a stove, and potholders. You are where you live. She was somebody.” (Quindlen, n.d.) Immediately, as a reader, I felt the emotional weight and connected to Quindlen and her homeless friend Ann. Quindlen’s description of the photograph allowed me feel as if I had lost something, even though there was no physical connection.
Lutz addresses a topic that has spread like an uncontrollable virus fueled by political correctness. However, I question the social relevance of the topic. Lutz’s essay comes off as having a chip on his shoulder and cold disdain for current trends in corporate communication. Lutz’s...