Summary Of John Jeremiah Sullivan's Essay 'Feet In Smoke'

323 Words2 Pages

John Jeremiah Sullivan’s essay, “Feet in Smoke” is a poignant glimpse at life, the human experience, and its frailty. “Feet in Smoke” focuses on an experience that John Jeremiah Sullivan’s brother, Worth, endured. Touching death. The essay utilizes imagery through vivid descriptions and “Feet in Smoke” has a particularly powerful paragraph that uses robotic imagery foremost. This paragraph, and the paragraphs that follow shortly afterwards are the crux of “Feet in Smoke”. The human condition, and the fleeting nature of vitality is highlighted through these paragraphs. Rhetorical devices such as phonetic intensive are used frequently, some loaded diction is also utilized, and allusion is sprinkled throughout the essay and employed more heavily in the last few paragraphs. Most of all, imagery channelled through these devices is what makes “Feet in Smoke” the impactful essay that it …show more content…

This paragraph employs robotic imagery most heavily and also uses loaded diction more than others. This section even goes so far as to call Worth’s body in intensive care as, “a nightmare of tubes and wires, dark machines silently measuring every internal event, a pump filling and emptying his useless lungs.” This section channels the intensity of an event like this and the fear one and one’s loved ones feel when the shade of fatality affects a person. Imagery also plays a large part in this section and places the reader in the situation John Jeremiah Sullivan was in through imagery like “The stench of dried spit”. This passage’s imagery challenges the reader to undergo the stale smell described and to witness the machine that Worth is connected to. Through this, “Feet in Smoke” allows the reader to “walk in someone else’s shoes” and conveys the cathartic and shared human experience of death and its looming

Open Document