Essay’s Freedom and their Constant Undermining of Boundaries
Klaus states that most essayists lack the need to classify essays in any fashion. Notably, essays are a form of writing that offers the essayist a chance to influence people, therefore, choosing the approach to take. Klaus further outlines that a lot of writers describe the need to be free from conventionalised form. Importantly, there are diverse forms of essays mainly because they depend on the distinct attitudes of people. Klaus shows that authors are the heroes of an easy and thus underlining the role of an essayist. However, in contrast to the focus by Klaus essayist do not possess the freedom from conventionalized ideas as their writing mainly aims to overwhelm the people. In agreement though, Klaus presents some factual and realistic arguments on the role of readers and how they use their essays to influence people. Klaus believes authors are the heroes who possess the power over the people through utilization of jokes and other bumper stickers. Importantly, this paper tries to concur with the argument by Klaus that is improbable to define and classify essays while contradicting the argument that authors are the heroes of essays. Shields both agrees and disagrees with Klaus: while Klaus says essays should be a reflection and exploration instead of a conviction or persuasion (Klaus 16), Sheilds aims to persuade his readers; but just as Klaus says there is no single definition of an essay, “Life Story” is unconventional and relies on the demands of contemporary readers.
The essay “Life Story” by David Shields incorporates bumper stickers which shows that writers can easily be swayed by changes in beliefs and attitudes of people and thus influencing their mode of writing. Importantly, bumper stickers entail small messages presented in poetic and appealing manners. Klaus insists that writers prioritize the role of essayists as it instigates their preoccupation with the author’s implied personality or persona. However, the bumper stickers outlined by Shields underline the strength of the readers over the author’s as the latter has to try and understand the persona of the former and appeal to it.
Shields uses a self-reflective tendency with bumper stickers that aim to intrigue, appeal, and influence the readers. He fails to follow any systematic approach in his writing as he moves from one reference to another: ‘Love sucks and then you die…Beyond beach’ (Shields 339). The approach outlines a failure to observe essay expectations. However, in line with Klaus’s argument, essays do not entail systemized and conventionalized forms of writing. Therefore, the primary aim of the article by Shields is to come up with a way of writing that appeals to people. The author feels the need to impress the audience and thus strays from following any guidelines or rules and simply emphasizing on the essence of bumper stickers. Importantly, he undermines the argument by Klaus that describes essayists as the heroes. The readers are the heroes because they continually alter the way authors write. Essays have changed over the centuries with diverse generation accommodating certain practices and overlooking others. Shields uses a straightforward approach which may have been unacceptable in another century. However, the continuous changes continually influence essays while empowering readers over authors.
Shields enact a broad range of approaches in the bumper stickers. Klaus states that essays should be a reflection instead of a conviction or an exploration instead of a persuasion (Klaus 16). However, Shields enacts all of these aspects. He tries to persuade people that life is pretty dry without a boat. He further tries to convince people to eat dessert first because life is uncertain. He also two approaches of exploration and reflection as he explores on his driving and reflects on life respectively. Importantly, he incorporates all approaches in a bid to intrigue different readers. He understands the strength of readers and thus rather than abiding by the expectations of essays, he makes a few adjustments. Importantly, he outlines the strength of readers and outlines why they are more critical than the essayists.
The enactment of bumper stickers in the essay by Shields outlines a unique approach of writing which cannot be classified as a formal essay. In comparison, Klaus argues that there are numerous designs of essays and therefore it can be hard to describe or classify one comprehensively (Klaus 16). Importantly, people possess distinct attitudes and poses which influence essayist and their style of writing. Therefore, the world will continue encountering great separate essays. Shields incorporates some words which may not be readily accepted in a formal essay such as ‘eat shit’ or ‘down on your knees, bitch’ (Shields 339-342). However, his essay has already been published and thus outlining the diverse types of writings that exist in the contemporary world.
Consequently, Klaus argues that essays invoke metaphors and images while trying out ideas. Notably, Shields uses these tools in the essay to outline life’s vulnerable nature and the need to actualize every aspect of it. He starts by arguing that ‘you are only young once’ and thus trying to influence people to get the most out of their lives (Klaus 25). His approach may not be downright acceptable, but it entails a certain uniqueness. Notably, he adheres to guidelines outlined by Klaus on essay writing: Klaus (26) argues that the essay is a complex and problematic kind of a book which enacts thoughts and projects personality. Therefore, every writer is shaped by its expectations. Shields’ bumper stickers form the basis of his work that intrigue his audience in a straightforward and comparative approach.
Conversely, the availability of diverse types of essays shows that it is hard to have a definite outline of the meaning of articles or how they can be classified. Klaus starts off the piece by arguing that there is not Aristotle of essays (25). Therefore, it is hard to have a clear and concise explanation of essays, what it entails, and its classifications. From a popular point of view, the presentation by Shields may fail to rank as a form of an essay. It stipulates writing a comparative statement that aims to influence people and the decision they make. However, the description of an article as an exploratory and reflective piece of work relates to the outlined article and thus classifies it in this category.
Shields believes that people should enjoy their lives when they still can. However, he concludes his argument by necessitating people to choose death. His essay uses a complex and unorthodox approach which can confuse people more than it can inform them. Shields writes down numerous statements that fail to make sense as a paragraph or an article. However, they all carry a message and adhere to a few descriptions of essays. Therefore, failing to clearly explain and define a piece means that mere words formed in paragraphs can be regarded as essays. From an objective point of view, the article by Shields is wordy documentation that lacks flow or intent. However, in relation to Klaus’s work and argument, Shields comes up with an essay that can appeal to a specific group as the world continues to change and enacts new and diverse expectations.
Klaus, Carl H. “Towards a Collective Poetics of the Essay.” Essayists on the Essay: Montaigne to Our Time. University of Iowa Press, 2012, 15-27.
Shields, David. “Life Story.” Next American Essay 4 August 2011: 339-341.