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Assignment 1

Posted on September 12, 2017

In this 5-7 page textual analysis essay you will closely examine and make interpretative claims about one of the essays by the following writers: Hockenberry, Mairs, Grealy, Slater, Kleege, or Hiari. You will discuss not only the main ideas of the text but also the techniques/tools (words, paragraphs, structure, evidence, etc) by which the writer has produced the text to impact readers.


Out of the several autobiographies I have read, the one that attracts me the most is slater’s script. Slater and I connect on many levels. His youth years reminds me of my younger self and his soft-spoken nature correlates a lot with the way I interact with new people. Slater may have avoided his stuttering problem, but he has had the courage to accomplish many other things on my bucket-list. In dealing with his stuttering, Slater proves to me to have a gentle, yet strong-willed and charismatic personality.


In slater’s writing it can be inferred that he strongly considers how others perceive him. Because of this, his stutter became a measurement confidence in the presences of others. Those who were kind and friendly to him boosted to his confidence. In contrast, those who were impetuous and aggressive to him sank his confidence. The distinct division between “those around whom I stuttered and those who I might not” shows that many of slater’s encounter with others cause him to reveal his impression of others externally. Not only is his right to privacy taken away, but also he is now more vulnerable to the perception of others, something he takes with high regards.


One way Slater deals with his inability to pronounce hard consonants like K’s, D’s, and hard C’s is to completely avoid using them. Slater’s encounter with Kim depicts how he avoids these hard consonants and reveals his incapability of dealing with a situation with high stakes. “YeahhiIwaswonderingifKimwasthere” shows his stiffness and uneasiness. While avoiding his speech impediment, Slater nonetheless built up the courage to ask Kim out to prom. As a viewer, I praise slater because even though he did not and could not tackle his stutter, he still had the bravery to ask a girl out. I, instead, in my 19 years of living, have never asked a girl on a date. Still I find that Slater and I have a lot in common. When slater explains that he has “evolved a verbal dexterity” the first impression that appeared in my visions was my middle school years. Scared and confused of this new environment, I lost a lot of my soft skills that I had developed in my elementary school years. Hanging out with the “cool kids” and becoming a bully became the way I wanted to empower my foolish past self. Ironically, as I came home I became the responsible and moral child that all my family members trust. The same way the Slater developed his verbal dexterity, I also developed a mechanism of self-defense to hide my embarrassed self from others. In the process I reconcile with the perspective of others upon me in order to boost my confidence, much like Slater.


In another example, is during his high school class, Slater was assigned the prosecutor role of a mock murder trial. While practicing his presentation to reassure himself for the following day, the morning of the presentation his stuttering inevitably suffered. However, due to his unyielding courage, he calls stubbornness he completed his 500-word speech. While Slater may see this as a setback to his process of healing his stuttering, I see it as feat. Because he has already encountered an experience in public speaking I believe if he continued to tackle these situations he be able to build the confidence he needs leading to a stutter free Slater. While later he avoided these public occasion, probably from the trauma of the mock trial, he found an alternative and “cure” his stutter. Slater may ditch class presentations, decline mock trial club, and starring videotaped segments. He still finds ways to challenge himself such as speaking in groups and attend radio interviews.


While in the end slater may not have completely defeated his stutter, he finds a way to “accommodate it” and to live with his stutter in a “peaceful coexistence.”


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