Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out: What is the Purpose of Barry's essay?

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    Anonymous

    I believe the purpose of this essay is to compare the prioritization of different concerns, between men and women. By exaggerating the truth, Barry can emphasize how important each gender believes a certain topic is.
    In his essay, Barry wants the reader to know that compared to men, women are far more meticulous in keeping things clean. Barry writes, “ somewhere during the growth process, a hormonal secretion takes place in women that enables them to see dirt that men cannot see, dirt at the level of molecules.” This is an obvious exaggeration, because humans cannot see at a molecular level. By saying women develop this ability, Barry can emphasize and explain a woman’s keen eye for spotting dirt, while also justifying why males, comparatively, do not notice dirt as much.
    Similarly, Barry also mentions that men are very enthusiastic about watching sports, while women don’t seem to care. In the essay, while the women sat around as if nothing was happening, the men described the moments leading up to watching the game as being “exactly like the story by Edgar Allan Poe where the murderer can hear the victim’s heart beating louder and louder even though he (the murder victim) is dead, until finally he (the murderer) can’t stand it anymore.” Exaggerating the men’s anxiety to a level which is experienced after committing murder really helps the reader understand how desperate men can be to watch sports.
    Although the characters from this essay were stereotyped, Barry’s use of exaggeration to compare the men and women, allows the reader to better understand each gender’s priorities.

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