November 10, 2016

Essay Question

Essay Topic- How does Ron Suskind make Cedric’s education seem difficult?

In this essay I will be explaining  how Ron Suskind presents the difficulties of Cedric’s education in part one and part two of his article. Cedric faces various obstacles when getting an education at Ballou High and MIT as students were abusing him, he was struggling with the work and violence was at large. Within the text Ron uses multiple literary devices to highlight how hard it was for Cedric to gain an education. Throughout I will be referring to the language devices  and how they compare, and by the end I will have an answer on how Ron Suskind makes Cedric’s education seem difficult.

An example of a literary device that Ron Suskind uses in article one is a metaphor, this is shown in the quote “The Arduous Oydessy of Cedric”. This quote explains Cedrics individual hardships that he faces on a daily basis.This quote suggests that Cedric’s journey to glory is strenuous and tiring . Moreover the term ‘Oydessy’  derives from a Greek mythological story where the character named Odysseus embarks on a quest alone. This is similar to Cedric as he has to sought after extra work and extra learning in order to become a success in Ballou High and life more importantly, all of this is completed by himself. Additionally when Odysseus arrives at a setting in the story the suitors hurl abuse and insults at him. This is similar to Cedric’s situation as he was bullied at Ballou High when he got there.The only difference is that Cedric only received verbal abuse during his ‘journey’ but Odysseus faced some physical as well. These factors add to the uncomfortable learning environment, making Cedric’s chances of achieving very slim.

In part two Ron Suskind uses figurative language, this is shown in the quote “ostracized by high school peers who see his ambition as a sign of disrespect.” This quote suggests that Cedric’s success is frowned upon by his school peers ,we know this because Ron Suskind uses the word ‘Ostracized’,The word ‘Ostracized’ means to be excluded from a society or group.This suggests that Cedric has been excluded from his group of friends, all because of his success. The quote in part one highlights Cedric’s individual struggles with his education, but the quote in part two  tells us about the collective struggle of his school peers. Another comparison between these two quotes is that “the arduous odyssey of Cedric” implies that Cedric is by himself in his journey to his goal, similarly the quote “ostracized by high school peers who see his ambition as a sign of disrespect” also implies that he has been excluded from his social group, therefore alone. We can also see that his school peers are very jealous of his will to learn and his current success. The word ‘Ostracized’ has two meanings and the other one is to be banished (In Ancient Greek), this is linked to the quote before because Oydsseus was banished from his kingdom. Whereas the first quote talks about Cedrics quest for success and the struggles he faces, the quote in part two talks about the emotions that the students encounter.

In part one Ron Suskind uses personification to make Cedric’s education seem difficult. This is shown in the quote “Failure is persuasive here even seductive.” This implies that failure is a common occurrence at Ballou High. The author goes to an extent where he says that the act of failing is seductive to the students, the word seduce means to attract something, or to persuade someone into believing something. So Ron Suskind is trying to say that failure at Ballou High is so common that its seducing the students.The fact that Ron used the word ‘persuade’ it suggests that the students are not willing to fail and ultimately want to achieve . Outside and within the school, violence was a daily occurrence and this affected  the students school grades, due to this failing in Ballou High was easier than succeeding, we see this when Cedric was receiving abuse because of his will to learn.If Cedric was easily swayed he would’ve succumb to the peer pressure and fail. This quote isn’t  necessarily applicable  to Cedric because he was high achieving at Ballou High.

Ron Suskind uses another metaphor to highlight Cedric’s school difficulties. We can see this in the quote “the detonations of self doubt become audible” This quote tells us that the students are pressured at M.I.T. Furthermore, the word ‘detonations’ tells us that the students are doubting themselves so much that its exploding in their minds. Both quotes are similar as they both describe the students attitude towards education. The previous quote talks about the failure rate  in Ballou High whereas this one describes how the students don’t believe in themselves enough to succeed at M.I.T. Furthermore the quote that Ron Suskind uses to describe failure in Ballou High is personification, this is because he has given the term ‘failure’ a human characteristic. In comparison the quote that Ron Suskind uses to describe self doubt in M.I.T is a metaphor. The two quotes are linked  because the first one talks about how the students need to Be persuaded to fail, because of this the students are stressing so much that the idea of failing has planted a seed of doubt into their heads and now it’s grown into something so big that it’s exploding in their minds. The writer suggests that the students are powerfully minded and are fueled with explosive will power, I have inferred this from the domain of the quote, bombs. The target of the quote is the students, so this suggests that the author is trying to say that the students have the capacity to learn but don’t have the means to follow through. Also the fact that the author used the word ‘bomb’ could suggest that there has been a build up of frustration where it has got to the point of explosion. This is similar to the first quote as they are  both talk about failing, where they differ is how Ron Suskind said they would fail. On the contrary the first quote talks about how others are making you fail, but the second talks about how you yourself are making you fail.

To conclude Ron Suskind uses various language devices to make Cedric’s education seem difficult, this includes metaphors and personification. Ron Suskind adds hidden meanings to his text so that his readers can get a better in depth understanding of the point that he is trying to get across in article one and article two.  Ron Suskind tries to link parts of his text with others, we can see the link in the quotes “ostracized by high school peers who see his ambition as a sign of disrespect” and “Failure is persuasive here, even seductive” both these quotes describe the students perceptions on school life, one talks about the students jealousy of another students success, and the other quote talks about how hard it is to do well at Ballou High. Ultimately Ron Suskind has used a vast range of language techniques that help us (the readers) understand what Cedric’s education was like, whether it was the highs of Ballou High or the lows of M.I.T, we always knew what was going because of how well Ron Suskind described Cedric’s learning experience.









Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Good work, Muhsin. Just some small things to change.

    1) the quote used in paragraph two isn’t a metaphor and the analysis is not strong. Please change this.

    2) Please bulk up the analysis on paragraph four. There is lots to say and you could say more

    3) Please proof read over your work again. There are lots of mistakes that you will need to change for the badge

    Mr O’B


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