This essay is centered on emotion. It seems to me that the major strategies used all lead to one thing and that’s to getting the reader to feel some sort of emotion; let me tell you it worked pretty good for me
“This play doesn’t end - and the players can’t go home” (quote is referring to ancient Greek plays performed to inspire empathy). Through out the essay Barbara Lazear (the author of the essay) talks about two experiences with a homeless person (one of the encounters being her own). Lazear uses that statement to help the reader connect with her essay with every day life. In the encounter she described witnessing a bread shop owner giving away food she was confused and didn’t really understand why the owner would reward the homeless person for his arrival to her shop (uses flashback when talking about this experience). I know when I finished reading her questions of “why reward him….” I started to think about similar past experiences. It also brings emotion that the reader can actually feel.
Details played a major role in brining this essay to life. The imagery created with the use of details was incredible. Not only do the details create scenes in your mind but they also help isolate an emotion. For example in the first encounter described in the essay you could tell the woman was afraid of the stranger; although, it was never stated flat out like that, instead details and imagery was used. “the baby’s mother waits for the light to change and her hands close tighter on the stroller’s handle as she sees the man approaching.” The fear the woman radiated created suspense for the reader.
Another strategy used that I think was pretty effective in making the reader stop and ponder for a while was asking a question and then rapidly moving along, leaving the question unanswered. Leaving questions unanswered gives the reader the opportunity to look deeper into the matter and try to analyze it, which would provide the reader with more genuine emotion. “Could it be that the homeless, like those ancients, are reminding us of our common humanity?”