Bill Bryson Analysis

670 Words3 Pages
An argument’s effectiveness can hinge on the author’s stylistic approach and their individual voice and tone. Bill Bryson makes use of a straightforward and punctual style while warning of the wasteful usage of resources in “The Waste Generation.” Jeremy Steben tone varies from Bryson’s, in that he relies on heavy irony and satire to convey his disapproval of police infringing on civil rights in “Small Town, Quiet Town, Safe Town.” Bryson and Steben’s varying styles are both successful in conveying their respective disapproving messages, but each has advantages and disadvantages that bolster and deter from the author’s intended message. Bill Bryson’s message is direct and to the point. He wastes little time in revealing his purpose, to warn…show more content…
He approaches the issue with a sarcastic tone, seemingly mocking the police officers. The use of satire, however, has its drawbacks. The heavy sarcasm can make it difficult for some readers to fully understand that Steben is protesting the officers. Steben says of the officers “These dauntless men and women are the only bastion of defense against the darkness that constantly threatens to boil over and consume our fair community,” (353). It would be easy for a reader to not understand Steben’s irony. The reader could actually believe that Steben respects and appreciates the officers, rather than understanding that Steben is mocking the officers. The overly satirical nature of the entire argument convolutes Steben’s message. The use of irony, however, is advantageous by pointing out the flaws in the opponent 's argument. Steben criticizes the officers while describing their illegal questioning tactics “‘So, you boys been doing some drinking tonight?’ This question is then repeated several times throughout the ensuing conversation in slightly varied forms,” (354). Steben points out how the officers attempt to trick the people they pulled over by putting words in their mouths. Instead of asking once and trusting the response of the drivers, officers continue to prod, attempting to dig out information that does not exist. Steben’s irony allows him to portray this unfair treatment by
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