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Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out
Transcript of Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out
By: Dave Barry
"The primary difference between men and women is that women can see extremely small quantities of dirt... [Sports] is an area where men tend to feel very sensitive about and women tend to be extremely callous. "
In the author's eyes, what women place value on is more superficial/trivial things compared to what men place value on. On the flip side, women probably believe the same about men (such as the value they place on sports). Conflicts in relationships stem from these differences.
Over-arching main claim/argument:
Men and women are sensitive about different things, which is one reason why relationships and marriage can be difficult. Conflicts can be avoided by adhering to conventional gender roles.
How do we know?
"...while the women prattled away about human relationships or something"
"She is in there looking at the very walls I just Windexed, and she is seeing dirt!"
"...this particular evening occurred during a World Series game. If you can imagine such a social gaffe.
Support and Evidence Types
Example: “ I ‘clean’ the bathroom, spraying Windex all over everything including…and a little while later my wife will say: ‘I hate to rush you, but could you do Robert’s bathroom? It is really filthy.”
Example: “… sports. This is an area men tend to feel very sensitive and women tend to be extremely callous.”
Example: “This can lead to tragedy as it did in the ill-fated ancient city of Pompeii, where the residents all got killed when the local volcano erupted and covered them with a layer of ash 20 ft. deep.”
Example: Since Dave Barry is married, he is the authoritative figure on marriage and relationships in this essay.
How do we know?
Diction and Tone
Words and phrases that stand out: Hormonal, implements, callous, irate, jovial, gaffe, prattled, pivotal
Diction adjectives: Plain, literal, informal
: Dave Barry is married, so can speak with authority about relationships and marriage.
: "We could feel the World Series television and radio broadcast rays zinging through the air, penetrating right into our bodies, causing our dental fillings to vibrate, and all the while the women were behaving as though nothing were wrong."
: "This is one major historical reason why, to this day, men tend to do very little in the way of useful housework."
Anticipate an objection:
"I always get irate letters from women who are heavyweight racquetball champions of somplace like Iowa...but I feel these women are an exception"
: Story about wife thinking the bathroom is dirty even though Barry has cleaned it
"It was exactly like that poem by Edgar Allan Poe..."
"She's looking at the walls I just Windexed and she is seeing dirt!"
: "A more representative woman is my friend Maddy"
: "A hormonal secretion takes place in women that enables them to see dirt that men cannot see, dirt at the level of molecules, whereas men don't generally notice it until it forms clumps large enough to support agriculture."
Structures & Modes
Main Ideas and Points stated:
Beginning- Barry starts his piece with a statement saying that women develop differently to be able to see dirt. In other words, things that men do not.
Middle- Barry states that he and his wife have different opinions on what is "filthy". His wife is described to be more specific about cleaning while Barry does not see the point.
End- As men and women, values differ; therefore, interests differ. Barry explains how he and a friend excused themselves to watch The World Series while his wife and her friend continued the conversation that bore him.
Anecdote about Pompeii
Watching sports vs. conversation
Used to: Show how he and his wife's views on cleaning, and their interests differed.
Barry uses narration to tell the audience about the specific World Series night
Used to describe Dave Barry's cleaning process as he does what his wife asks him to. Yet, in this specific process the audience is introduced to the meaning behind Barry's article.
Essay published in 1988
Set in the U.S
Rise in sports networks such as ESPN, so Americans could watch sports at any time of the day.
Conventional gender roles are still in place- "soccer mom" stereotype as kids begin to participate more in extra-curricular activities.
Barry takes into account these changes in the traditional family and finds humor in the way people react to these changes.
Audience: Women, parents, couples, working-class adults, followers
Who is the speaker?
What do we know about him?
Humorist called "the funniest man in America" by The New York Times
Published 30 books throughout his lifetime
Began career as a reporter
Born in 1947 in NY
Graduated college i
His audience was composed of all genders, and of people who had a general conception of traditional gender roles