Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out: How does Barry set the tone from the start?

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  • #4162

    Anonymous

    From the very first paragraph, it is clear that Dave Barry’s essay will be funny. In fact, he sets the humorous tone in the very first sentence when he says “The primary difference between men and women is that women can see extremely small quantities of dirt.” Clearly there are much more prominent differences between the two sexes, but saying that this was the most important makes it obvious from the start that the piece is going to be funny. Barry continues to joke when he says that babies of both sexes don’t think anything of dirt other than “it tastes better than food.” This first paragraph has only three sentences, but because two of these three sentences are comical, Barry is able to set the tone very quickly. He could have started out with a sentence such as “Men and women have many differences, one of them being that women are more aware of dirt than men.” This would have effectively stated his point, but it lacks tone. By using a humorous tone, Barry made his piece much more interesting, and the funny remarks in the very first paragraph make this tone clear from the start.

  • #4180

    Anonymous

    In Dave Barry’s essay he immediately begins with a friendly comparison between men and women stating that the main difference is that “women can see extremely small quantities of dirt” with the purpose to make the reader laugh; this begins the familiar and joking tone of Barry’s piece. The imitation scientific hypothesis of “hormonal secretion” and “at the level of molecules” adds to the humorous tone because this is not possible in science, which he knows, thus its addition for the purpose of developing the joking tone. He follows this with a vast hyperbole claiming that men do not see dirt until it is in “clumps large enough to support agriculture” which again reinforces the humorous tone because of its impossibility. Barry continues to paint a picture of an unlikely event by simply explaining that the reason people did not escape Pompeii is that the men “never even noticed the ash” until it had “covered the children”. This situation adds to the tone because Barry is inserting a purposefully ignorant explanation for which the real reason is commonly known. He continues to use hyperbole along with personification as he describes dirt in a bar as “bacteria you could enter in a rodeo” this adds to the humorous tone because it is so out of proportion and, again, impossible. Barry contrasts men and women through the scenario of cleaning a bathroom and how he views it as looking “perfectly fine” but his wife views it as absolutely “filthy”. The large gap between points of view in the scenario highlights the difference between the two sexes using hyperbole to add to the tone. This adds to the tone because of the increasingly familiar diction coupled with the humor presented by the hyperbole which widens a gap to an extreme that is unlikely and therefore amusing. In the last few paragraphs Barry begins to alternate between formal diction and familiar diction in order to increase the contrast with the humor. This can be exemplified when he goes to a friend’s house for “stimulating conversation and jovial companionship” which is a huge jump from the feeling of the rest of the piece. This formal diction highlights the separation of “we males” as a group and their lack of association with formal diction, the women, as they could “actually feel the World Series” and “the broadcast rays zinging through the air” this informal diction and hyperbole again bring forth the familiar and joking tone. Barry again shows the humor of the piece as his friend goes to watch the game and is “moving very quickly for a big man holding a baby” this is continued by the separation of the sexes as the “second male escaped”. The purposeful reference to him as a male shows the difference between males and females, this demonstrates the humor because not only is he completely separate from them, but now he has also escaped from them. He ends his piece with an offhand comment, again evoking humor and highlighting the separation, that the “women prattled away about human relationships or something”. Barry finishes the essay by insinuating in a humorous that women cannot be understood and that’s okay with him.

  • #4195

    Anonymous

    From the beginning of the piece Barry creates a sarcastic and humorous tone. He does this by claiming that “during the growth process, a hormonal secretion takes place in women that enables them to see dirt that men cannot see.” By starting off with this scientific claim you can assume that the rest of the piece will continue as such. Which it does, he uses some situations from his life to demonstrate that his perspective of clean is not the same as his wife’s. Barry says that even after he cleaned his son’s bathroom, his wife is not impressed and asks him to do a more thorough job. This example is semi dramatic which is what leads it to being humorous.

  • #4227

    Anonymous

    In the first paragraph of Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out, Dave Berry immediately sets the humorous tone of the piece by comparing differences between men and women. He says that “the primary difference between men and women is that women can see extremely small quantities of dirt.” This kicks off the humorous tone because this comparison isn’t one that is commonly made when discussing men and women. What really triggers the humorous tone is the last sentence of the first paragraph. Barry says that “babies of both sexes have a very low awareness of dirt, other than to think it tastes better than food.” By adding this statement after the first comparison, he creates a humorous tone because although the statement for the most part is true, it creates an amusing image for the reader of babies eating dirt. This sets the tone for the rest of the piece.

  • #4247

    Anonymous

    Dave Barry wastes no time in portraying his tone for this essay. Immediately, he shows the reader that the essay will contain a humorous tone by saying “the primary difference between men and women is that women can see extremely small quantities of dirt”. Right away he grabs the readers attention. An essay stating differences or similarities of the different genders is a common topic, but by taking an uncommon difference (ability to spot small amounts of dirt), and using humor and stories immediately, he proves that this essay is something different, causing the reader to want to continue reading. By placing funny statements at the very beginning of paragraph 1, he shows the humorous tone that will be portrayed throughout the rest of the essay.

  • #4248

    Anonymous

    From the very first sentence, Barry sets the tone when he claims that the, “primary difference between men and women is that women can see extremely small quantities of dirt.” The fact that this statement is obviously inaccurate sets a humorous tone. He adds to it by saying that women have a “hormonal secretion” that takes place inside them which allows them to see dirt “at the level of molecules”. Barry describes these claims in a very matter-of-fact way and creates the illusion that they are in fact major and fundamental differences between the sexes.
    From the very beginning of his essay, Barry has established a flippant perspective on how to view the differences between men and women and sets the rest of the essay for a comedic tone that satirically illustrates his point.

  • #4259

    Anonymous

    Dave Barry is able to set the tone right off the bat of his essay, “Battling Clean-up and Striking out”, by using a false fact that most people can relate to. “The primary difference between men and women is that women can see extremely small quantities of dirt” sets a very humorous tone to his essay. Barry is able to show his opinion very strongly of how women are much more observant about messes in a house compared to men by using his joking tone. He says, “I ‘clean’ the bathroom”, meaning that he did what he thought as a thorough job to clean it but as soon as his wife, the woman saw it, she acted as if he didn’t clean it at all. His viewpoint of being a man helps to ass the humorous tone of his essay.

  • #4263

    Anonymous

    From the very beginning of the essay, it is clear that Barry’s essay will be funny. He sets the humorous tone in the very first sentence when he says “The primary difference between men and women is that women can see extremely small quantities of dirt.” There are so many differences between males and females, but saying that this was the most important makes it obvious from the start that the essay is going to be funny. Barry continues to joke when he says that all babies don’t think anything of dirt other than “it tastes better than food.” This is just one of the many instances where he brings a comical tone into the essay and since he uses this tone so often it causes the whole essay to have a comical tone.

  • #4268

    Anonymous

    Barry sets the tone even before the first sentence. By titling the piece “Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out” Barry leads off with a humor and then opens the essay with humor in not only the first paragraph, but also the entire second one. Throughout all of this is an almost unrelenting set of punchlines or build-ups to them. The second paragraph begins explaining how “during the growth process, a hormonal secretion takes place in women that enables them to see dirt that men cannot see,” his mock scientific approach helps to add sarcasm to the already humorous tone. Later, in the end of the second paragraph, the author argues that the mass of deaths that occurred in Pompeii because of the volcano that erupted, was because of the mens lack of ability to recognize dirt. thus, he states that this is a “major historical reason why, to this very day, men tend to do little in the way of useful housework.” Employing again a mock scientific approach, Barry is able to create a more than hilarious tone and an engaging begging to the essay. I believe that Barry uses this established tone to not only create a relatable essay, but also to relieve the tension implied with a job such as clean, or more importantly, pleasing a spouse.

  • #4272

    Anonymous

    In Barry’s essay, Batting Clean-up and Striking Out, Barry uses a very humorous tone that he sets from the beginning of the essay. For instance, when he uses hyperbole and says “dirt at the level of molecules,” he creates a light, humorous tone as he compares the cleaning abilities of men and women.
    Barry also uses other methods of creating a lighthearted, and sometimes even sarcastic tone in the piece. He uses generalizations, for instance when he said “I’ll gather up the Standard Male Cleaning Implements, namely a spray bottle of Windex and a wad of paper towels” that helps to create an easygoing and humorous tone.
    He also uses figurative language, namely hyperbole to add effect and add to the tone. For instance, when Barry says “they never even noticed the ash until it had for the most part covered their children” or “bacteria you could enter in a rodeo,” he creates a very laid back and informal tone.

  • #4276

    Anonymous

    I agree that Barry uses a comical tone right off the bat. Besides in the very beginning he carries out this use of tone later by saying, “nevertheless, because I am a sensitive and caring kind of guy, I “clean” the bathroom, spraying Windex all over everything.” He is referring to women as caring and sensitive rather than too himself, but since his wife makes him him clean he is comedically saying he must be caring and sensitive since he cleans. While comparing men and women in a cleaning style, he later compares them in sports. He brings up his friend Maddy to point out that not only did she schedule a dinner party during the World Series game, but that no man would ever do such a thing. This is his comparison to cleaning. For women cleaning is their love but for men their love is sports. I like his tactics for comparing such rudimentary differences, yet he is able to make them seem as if they aren’t so obvious. Later on Barry uses Maddy’s husband as the perfect example and evidence to back up his opinion into more of facts. Saying, “Maddy’s husband made the first move, coming up with an absolutely brilliant means of escape..” gave off a feeling that the husband was feeling he was receiving a punishment having to miss the game. He then follows saying, “he used their baby” giving off a last ditch effort attempt to salvage the one thing that makes them happy. Barry’s story made me open my eyes and gain a new perspective that while men and women are different in many way, we all share a basic concept. Everyone likes something and enjoys an activity, but it doesn’t mean you have to share the exact same one. As humans, we all have one thing or another in common, yes everyone.

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