Scott Sanders Under The Influence Summary

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Under the Influence by Scott Russell Sanders “Under the Influence” by Scott Russell Sanders is a poignant essay relaying Sander’s struggles with his father’s alcoholism. Sanders’ essay is revealing in ways that statistics and studies on alcoholism cannot possibly contain. Sanders’ essay is like a catalog of the devastating emotional effects of his father’s alcoholism. In his essay, Sanders convincingly counteracts misconceptions about alcoholism and supports the argument that alcoholism is more like a disease rather than the common misconceptions of alcoholism. Sanders provides insight into his father’s behavior, and his argument that alcoholism is more like a disease is convincing. He creates his argument not with a point-by-point description,…show more content…
He points out Christianity’s influence, which was strong in the communities where he grew up. The bible contains a few warnings about the effects of alcoholism, that there isn’t any pride in imbibing or creating a good alcoholic drink, and that it can lead to moral bankruptcy. Sander implies that as he grew, he came to understand that moral bankruptcy was not responsible for his father’s illness. Another cultural influence of alcoholism is through entertainment. Alcoholics are often used in stories as comic relief, which to a person who grew up under the shadow of alcoholism, isn’t very funny at all. This point was to illustrate that people really don’t understand alcoholism for what it really is: a disease that has devastating effects on families for generations. Instead of directly countering those misconceptions, Sanders describes his upbringing in vivid detail. He describes his father’s behavior in a way that makes the reader appreciate that there comes a point where alcoholism is not really a matter of a person having a moral weakness, a lack of self-control, or is weak-willed. It’s a disease that robs people of their lives and of themselves. This is accomplished artfully, as this point is not plainly
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