Amish Andrea Fishman Analysis

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The Amish are a community of people that nobody knows much about, but everybody wants to learn more about. In her essay “Becoming Literate: A Lesson From the Amish,” Andrea Fishman attempts to outline some of the principles of Amish culture and the way that the Amish raise their children. Her uncertain focus leads the reader to a whirlwind of thoughts while reading this essay and could confuse many readers that are paying close attention to her content. Fishman bases her essay around differences between the Amish child and the mainstream child and goes into detail about how each child is raised learning to read. She attempts to discredit the way that Amish children are taught to read, yet also praises the Amish and how they bring up children. Trough unfocused content about Amish reading strategies, Fishman fails to convey that children of all lifestyles grow up reading the world.
The essay itself is difficult to summarize because of the way Fishman jumps between focuses. Starting her essay at a dinner scene with an Amish family, Fishman discusses many signs she picks up at this scene related to the way
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and exactly what he has grown up doing and reading. “Eli was enabled to participate in ways similar to his brothers’ and sisters’, making him a reader like them” (Fishman 240). Fishman goes into detail about Eli Jr. and the way his world has portrayed reading to him. But yet again, her focus shifts after this. She puts the reader in an Amish school setting and describes the events going on. “(The Teacher) then showed them pictures of rabbits, with the word bunnies and the number depicted indicating that they should be at their desk” (Fishman 243). At this point in the essay, the reader could be very confused. Fishman has no focus and jumps from topic to topic frequently. There is no pattern, and Fishman’s unclear target leaves readers confused and unable to follow along with her
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