Summary Of The Horizontal World

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Debra Marquart’s “The Horizontal World” illustrates the abnormal nature of the Midwest region and how its unique history and landscapes make it a great place. In the first section of the excerpt, she discusses the negative perceptions of the Midwest, and why many people look down on it. Later on, in the second section of the excerpt, she explains the positive aspects of the Midwest, and what makes it so glorious. Her essay in total covers a wide range of perceptions about the Great Plains, some false and some true. When you think of a horizontal world, chances are you think of an alien planet or another dimension. Others actually think of flat plains and boring landscapes. Debra Marquart adds her own spin to the topic by describing perceptions …show more content…

The use of constant complex and simple declarative sentences helps highlight the perceived monotonous nature of the Midwest. For example, one of her sentences simply reads, “now you are driving deep into the square states.” (paragraph 2) Repetitive sentence types and structures help create a plain, dull mood in the excerpt, which directly parallels the false perception of the Midwest. Marquardt uses this effect to her advantage in order to further emphasize this false perception of the Midwest as a boring and monotonous place. Furthermore, Marquart assumes a dispirited tone to convey her frustration with the false labels put on her home states. This tone reveals itself when she tells that Edwin James “dubbed the area between the Mississippi and the Rockies the Great American Desert, an indignity from which the region has struggled to recover ever since.” (paragraph 6) Her biased yet eloquent writing overall, specifically the words indignity and struggled, directly point at the fact that she thinks that the boring perception of the midwest is unjust, as well as harmful. It also helps to highlight her purpose in writing the memoir: to change this damaging perception. Lastly, her allusion to the failure of Midwestern celebrities expresses her disappointment with the way the Midwest is represented to the rest of the nation. Specifically, she lists the tragic “descent

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