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Okefenokee Swamp Argumentative

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The Okefenokee Swamp is certainly an interesting and intriguing place to learn about regardless of how you see it, but the reality and facts of the swamp can be interpreted to give different perspectives and meanings of the place. This is evident in the two unique and stylistically different passages describing the Okefenokee Swamp. In passage one, the style of the writing is for the most part, factual. Passage one focuses on providing the un-tinted facts about the swamp without trying to incur any feeling or mood of the place on its own, but rather, leaving the perspective and purpose of the place in the freedom of the reader. This is evident in the passage when it states, “The Okefenokee Swamp includes low, sandy ridges, wet grassy savannas, marshes, and extensive ‘prairies,’ or dark water areas covered by undergrowth and trees.” Rhetorical devices used in this passage include diction and arrangement of ideas.

On the other hand, passage two is much more histrionic in its description of the same swamp. Passage two focuses more on the feelings that the facts incur on author, offering a more dramatic and surreal ambiance to the description for the reader. This is most apparent in the passage when it describes, “…they scratch and stink and sniff at themselves, caterwauling and screeching through every minute of every day and night till the place reverberates like some hellish zoo.” Two rhetorical devices that passage two uses are imagery and diction.

Passage one displays a very plain and factual description of Okefenokee Swamp. Rather than attempting to convey a specific mood or feel of the swamp that the author feels, the passage focuses solely on the indisputable facts of the swamp. This objective style reflects the author’s purpose. The style of this passage indicates that the purpose of passage one’s author is purely to inform the reader. The lack of bias in the passage helps to achieve this purpose by leaving the facts unclouded by feeling or opinion, which can be argued; this clarity helps the reader decipher the information provided and learn more about the swamp. The passage also uses diction that reflects this purpose. For example, technical words such as, “vegetation” and “intricate”, hold no feeling or mood, but are purely informative and are objective observations.

The author of this passage uses these words to depict the swamp solely as a natural habitat for a diverse set of plants and animals in the environment without any inferences or interpretation, only perceptions of reality. However, this fulfills the author’s purpose of informing the reader with the facts and the observations of the swamp. The author of passage one also uses arrangement of ideas effectively as a stylistic device. This is shown within the passage when it states, “…approximately 25 mi wide and 30 mi long and covers an area of more than 600 sq mi….” In this statement, the various descriptive facts are presented in a clear, organized fashion. This helps the reader to absorb the information provided and helps to paint a clearer picture of the swamp, and thus, achieves the author’s purpose.

Passage two displays a much different style. Passage two offers a more fascinating description of the swamp, rife with imagery and lively diction. The style of passage two is much more compelling and figurative, adding a distinct mood behind the facts; passage two’s description of the swamp, instead of listing facts to depict the swamp as solely a wet landscape with many animals it, makes the swamp come alive with passion and activity. But in doing so, passage two loses some of the objective accuracy of the swamp. As previously stated, passage two uses a descriptive style that adds emotion to the description, however more vivid this makes the description, emotions that a place conjures in a person are still subjective. By adding subjective emotion into the description, the reader might be misled about the truth of the swamp, since the reader might interpret the swamp to have a totally different mood.

It makes the reader harder-pressed to decipher the subjective observation of the passage from the objective ones. Therefore, passage two is trade-off of objectivity and solid truth for entertainment value and vividness. All of this implies that the primary purpose of the author is not to inform, but rather, to instill a distinct mood and emotional essence of the swamp in the reader. The rich imagery in this passage reflects this purpose. Such imagery in lines such as, “Four hundred and thirty thousand acres of stinging, biting, and boring insects…” reveals the vividness that was previously described as well as affirms the author’s purpose of depicting the swamp with a specific emotional flavor and atmosphere. The passage also contains profound diction that also reflects the author’s purpose.

The author uses words including “primeval” and “hellish” to help portray the swamp with the author’s intended mood that he wishes to impress upon the readers. Using words like these, he portrays the swamp as a primitive, quagmire of death, decay, and misery where danger and savagery thrives on in an ancient world overlooked by civilization. This is much unlike passage one, which only uses general facts to vaguely depict the swamp as a natural environment that is home to various forms of wildlife. Therefore, the most basic difference between passage one and two, is that passage one contains no interpretation, only facts and percepts, while passage two adds interpretations, conclusions, and concepts to the facts and the percepts.

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