compare and contrast the two stories
Comparison and Contrast Essay
In this paper, the focus will be on the “Escape from Spiderhead” and “Puppy.” The named excerpts are writings by George Saunders to The New Yorker. In these papers, Saunders has discussed several issues that affect the society or rather matters that people live with within the society. The paper will engage these writings by offering a comparison on the matters in the same papers as well as providing a contrast to the concepts of the writings. The paper will, therefore, proceed by introducing the excerpts of concern and then proceed to discuss the similarities present in the texts as well as the differences that are evident. In that light, the succeeding section will then focus on drawing a conclusion to the subject matter. The significance of these discussions will be to determine the themes that the writer, George Saunders has presented in his writings and how similar he has given the same and taking note of the differences that exist in his discussions of the same themes (Saunders 1).
In analyzing the two pieces of work by Saunders, several similarities can be attested to exist in the excerpts. At first, there is a similar style of introduction in the two pieces of works. The writer introduces his works through uncertainties or rather put there is a lack of clarity to the reader of the texts, at first, encounter. When reading the beginning of the two excerpts, it unclear what the writer is addressing. Also evident in the introductions given to the two pieces of work is the serene that precedes the discussions in the same texts. For instance, in the “Escape from Spiderhead,” we find Jeff in illusions, and so does Marie in the other excerpt, “Puppy.” What is amazing is the scene that the two see in their worlds. Jeff, for instance, finds himself in a beautiful park mesmerized by the beauty of the items in the garden. On the other hand, Marie beholds the magnificence of the corn field when illuminated by the sun’s rays (Saunders 2).
The other similarity that can be drawn from the two excerpts is the style used to present the themes or ideas that permeate the discussions of the author. The arguments or the ideas presented in the two pieces of work are presented in the form of narration. For example, in the excerpt, “Escape from Spiderhead,” Jeff is narrating the encounters while, in the other excerpt, a voice is offering the narration. Coupled with the narrations, are conversations between the involved parties in the different writings. The first passage is introduced by a conversation between Abnesti and Jeff. It is evident in this writing that for the smooth deliberation on the topic of interest, the author used the conversations and the narrations alternately. In the other excerpt, “Puppy,” the paper is introduced by a narrative through the voice in the passage. Later, as the descriptions proceed, there come occasions where the characters in the excerpt engage themselves in conversations on the different topics of concern (Saunders 3).
Additionally, a comparison can be made from the themes that the two writings analyze. The two broad categories of themes or topics addressed in the excerpts revolve around the good and the bad or evil things or perceptions within the society. The theme of love runs through the two papers of concern. Love is an aspect that affects many people in the society. It can be said so because the committee and the team in the excerpt have designed a drug to help influence the same. Though the drug is still under test, it being that they came up the idea of formulating and making that drug means that it is a critical aspect of any society. They are concerned with helping individuals in controlling and managing their love encounters. For those who cannot love, it can be made possible through the drug to love, and those who love too much can be toned down. Apart from that, Jeff himself attest that he spend some moments talking to his mother every evening to show his love and care (Saunders 5).
On the other hand, in the excerpt, “Puppy,” an element of love is also presented. For instance, we encounter Marie and her family. The whole setting and the discussions involving the family members is one full of love towards each other. Marie is dreaming of a good life for her kids and would go further to wish that their encounters in life in the future would be filled with happy moments. She, however, discusses her former life where there was parental negligence, and this probably influenced her thinking and love towards her children. The kids also remember their happy moments of their previous lives. The relation with the puppy also shows an environment of love. Imperfection is also common with human beings. The fault of the other test subjects is told to Jeff to see if the same can influence his reasoning. In the other paper, several instances that presented the characters as imperfect are also evident (Saunders 7).
Conformity also another concept of concern in the two writings. How well is the concept of conformity expressed in the two pieces of work? In the first scenario, that is, in the excerpt, “Escape from Spiderhead,” the theme is presented in several ways. The primary aim of the whole setting is to determine the workability of the drug under test. It is evident that the concept that led to the formulation and making of the drug is expressed on the test subjects. For example, Jeff together with the other characters under the influence of the drug that is being tested would do as expected. They had to make love to the number of times as indicated in the writings all under the influence of the drug. It is also shown that without the influence of the drug the same individuals who felt in love with the other would make rational decision void of love. On the other hand, Marie as shown an element of conformity in the relation she had with her children. Marie confirms her behavior to that of her children and their family dynamics which are presented in a friendship rather than a parent-child relationship (Saunders 7).
Conversely, the other broad category of themes discussed in these works is associated with the wrong or evils that happen in the society. Testing of drugs to determine their effectiveness is an important aspect of the development of workable drugs. Governments always view the inmates as outcasts within the society. In that light, the test subjects used in the excerpt, “Escape from Spiderhead,” are prisoners. The idea of using such individuals as lab rats is one of the vices that are present in the contemporary society that the writer was set to address. On the other hand, some element of stereotypes has been shown in the other excerpt, “Puppy.” In this excerpt, we find Marie depicted as a suburban housewife and Callie also presented as a poor white trash mom. Several people within the communities have such negative connotations towards the other individuals who are regarded as leading such lives (Saunders 8).
In the event of examining the discussions of the different papers, it can be concluded that some aspects of them show some elements of differences. The first striking difference between the two excerpts is in their setting. In the excerpt, “Escape from Spiderhead,” the setting is in a prison. The test subjects are kept in workrooms where they are drugged, and their actions monitored to determine the effects of the doses given to them. The different individuals are given different quantities of the drug and as strangers are allowed to be in the same room to assess how they will interact with each other. In this setting, there are the test subjects and the control team. The control group, in this excerpt, has a monitoring room that is dubbed the “spiderhead.” Equally, in the excerpt, “Puppy,” there is also a unique setting as well. In this case, it is a family setting. The topics of discussion are addressed in the same setting as the family members engage one another in the conversations evident. As a contrast, the first paper’s setting is in a building while that of the following document is in the cornfield (Saunders 9).
The other difference exhibited in the two writings by Saunders is in the use of the stylistic devices. In the event of trying to justify this aspect of the writings, it is better if the argument is based on the narrations in the two papers. In both the papers, there is an element of narrative or better put the papers proceed through narrations. The only difference exhibited in such narration is in the use of the same. The first document that is, “Escape from Spiderhead,” there is too much use of the direct quotes from the participants in the story. It is so since the inclusion of such quotes brings out the intent of the writer and even to achieve the aims of the paper. Though this correct the alternation of the direct quotes and the narrations in the excerpt brings the harmony that the paper exhibits as it tackles the topics or the messages of intent (Saunders 11).
Even so, the other paper, “Puppy,” there is a difference in the styles used to that of the first excerpt. In this writing by Saunders, as in the other one, the narration is the method used to deliver the information of intent. In the event of narrating the story through a voice, there are shifts from the same to include direct quotes from the individuals or the characters in the story of discussion. It is, however, evident in this excerpt that the writer has used the same style sparingly as opposed to the first writing discussed. Through the transition of the events in the article the writer has been careful in the shifts to ensure harmony and in so doing has used the style sparingly (Saunders 12).
In summary, the paper has engaged the writings, “Escape from Spiderhead,” and “Puppy,” both writings by George Saunders. The paper has examined the similarities and the differences that are evident in the two pieces of work by Saunders. The paper, in the initial section, has discussed the similarities or the comparisons that are evident in the two works. One of the noted similarities in the two papers is in the introduction given to the different pieces of work. In addition to the method used to introduce the excerpts’ discussions, the other similarity is in the style employed in the presentation of the themes or the topics in the different documents. Both the papers use narrations to relay the information or engage the issues that are of concern in all of them. Conformity as well as well as the topics of interest can be used to attest to the similarities between the two papers.
Additionally, one of the differences experienced in the two pieces of work is in the setting of the different projects. For example, the excerpt, “Escape from Spiderhead,” is in set in a prison. The test subjects are drugged and allowed to interact in the different workrooms. Apart from the workrooms where the test subjects are allowed to communicate, a control room named the “Spiderhead,” is used by the project managers to monitor the progress of the subjects. In the other paper, the setting of the discussion is in a family. The writer engages with the topics of interest through the conversations within the family. The stylistic devices also used mark a significant difference in the propagation of the different schools of thought that are exhibited in the various pieces of work. The used style in these papers is narration coupled with quotes from the direct conversations of the individuals. The only difference here is whether the same is used too much or sparingly.
Saunders, George. “Escape from Spiderhead.” The New Yorker 20 (2010).
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