Neat People vs. Sloppy People: What is the tone of the essay?

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  • #4178


    Suzanne Britt’s essay has not one tone, but two: defensive and disgusted. The defensive tone is evident when she talks about sloppy people. Whenever she talks about them, she is trying to justify their messiness, doing so mainly through diction. She uses words of high esteem and positive connotation such as, “heavenly,” “stupendous,” “perfect,” “noble,” “ambitious, “loving,” and much more. She continues to justify their sloppiness when she says that it’s “the unfortunate consequence of their extreme moral rectitude,” and again when she says that they never get neat because “they aim too high and wide.” Not a bad thing is said about sloppy people; she consistently defends them and makes them out to be perfect and simply misunderstood. The tone shifts from defensive to disgusted when Britt talks about neat people. The first thing she says about neat people is that they “are bums and clods at heart.” Throughout the rest of the essay, she conveys her disgust with neat people through diction, and also by comparing them to sloppy people and making them out to be inferior. Instead of using words with positive connotations as she does when she talks about sloppy people, she uses words with negative connotations such as, “cavalier,” “vicious,” “wasteful,” and “insensitive.” She goes further into her attack on neat people by comparing them to sloppy people. In paragraph 5, Britt talks about how sloppy people would clean a desk; she explains how much “loving attention” a sloppy person would give the mess and how a he would be “scrupulously stopping to read all the old book catalogs before he throws them away.” She ends the paragraph with the harsh contrast that “A neat person would just bulldoze the desk,” making the neat person out to be lazy and heartless, and effectively showing her disgust for him. Britt conveys the two tones very well through diction and through the overall comparison of neat and sloppy people.

  • #4179


    The tone of Suzanne Britt’s Neat People vs. Sloppy People is increasingly ironic with subtle sarcasm. Britt immediately begins her piece by introducing the morality of the types of people she is comparing; however, morality has nothing to do with how neat or sloppy a person would be which begins the ironic tone because these are not two things commonly associated with each other. She begins to reason that sloppy people are sloppy because of “their extreme moral rectitude”, with this use of language she seems to be using irony through the contrasting diction and association of sloppy against “moral rectitude”. Her repeated use of “someday” in paragraph three suggests that sloppy people have a higher purpose, but it will not be exhibited anytime soon. This is ironic since if sloppy people have “a heavenly vision” should they not carry it out immediately?
    She writes off sloppy people’s misgivings as having “noble reasons” for them, but continues to describe neat people as “bums and clods”. This shows increasing irony because people would assume just the opposite: that sloppy people are bums and neat people are comparatively nobler. The hyperbole that neat people would “toy with the idea of throwing the children out of the house” adds to the ironic tone of the piece as this is obviously not accurately comparing how neat and sloppy people think and act.
    Britt concludes her ironic tone in the last paragraph as she states that neat people “are so insensitive”, this adds to the tone because she has been describing neat people insensitively throughout the entire piece and now she is describing them as insensitive. This suggests that she herself is a neat person and perhaps wishes to be sloppy; this would complete the ironic tone as she has created a situation in which she can justify herself being sloppy.

  • #4193


    I noticed two tones in Britt’s piece, both opinionated and casual. Although these tones may sound opposing, Britt shows both sides. She is obviously very defensive towards sloppy people, by defending them. By doing this she choses examples and generalizations to prove her point. She uses words such as “lazy” to describe neat people. This strikes me as a very opinionated argument because personally when I think of a neat person I would not consider them as lazy. At the same time, the piece is very casual. Britt’s language through out the piece makes it seem conversational and casual. By using words like “bums” and using an example of a senior prom, she makes the comparison very relatable. By doing this she creates the casual tone.

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  • #4204


    In my opinion, the tone of the essay Neat People vs. Sloppy People is accusing. All throughout the essay, the author makes accusations about both neat and sloppy people. Her accusing tone toward neat people is far more negative than the tone toward sloppy people. The author accuses neat people of being “insensitive” and says that “they are incredibly wasteful”. She states that “neat people are lazier and meaner that sloppy people”. By painting this negative picture of neat people, she shows bias toward her positive view of sloppy people. The author makes them out to be better people and even though “they never get neat” they still have goals to get their lives together. To contrast that view, she accuses neat people to be more selfish by only focusing on themselves and the cleanliness of their lives. The author calls them “vicious” and says they “place neatness above everything”. By creating the accusing tone of the essay, the author shows bias to sloppy people and bitterly creates a bad image of neat people. When the author paints a contrasting picture of two types of people, an accusing tone is created.

  • #4208


    The author uses two varied tones in order to describe neat and sloppy people. Britt creates a tone of admiration when describing sloppy people and then a condescending tone for neat people. These wildly contrasting tones help stress the literal contrast between these two wildly different types of people. The author first creates an admiring tone by using diction such as “stupendous” and “perfect.” She also uses phrases such as “they aim to far and wide” and “They give loving attention to every detail.” These words portray the author’s feelings of gratitude and admiration for how sloppy people act. Britt also shows this by using anaphora. By repeating “someday” within the third paragraph, Britt creates a dreamy sense of wonder and pride for people’s sloppiness. This sense prolongs the admiring tone she creates towards them. However, the tone then shifts to one of condescension when describing neat people. The author uses harsh, angry words such as “bulldozed” and “vicious.” She states that neat people are “bums and cods at heart” and “are incredibly wasteful.” These words and phrases degrade neat people and create a condescending tone in order to show their ignorance and insensitivity. By creating these two contrasting tones, Britt adds to the literal contrast between neat and sloppy people.

  • #4220


    In essay, Neat People vs. Sloppy People, the tone is both bitter and sympathetic. There is a touch of irony in the first paragraph that confirms this. Britt says that “neat people are lazier and meaner than sloppy people.” This is ironic because one would think that sloppy people are lazier than neat people because neat people are the ones who take time to make sure they are organized. This sentence creates the bitter tone in the essay towards neat people. Throughout the essay, Britt describes the two kinds of people and is clearly more compassionate and understanding towards sloppy people. She says “sloppy people can’t bear to part with anything. They give loving attention to every detail.” Although she makes an accusatory statement at first she then defends it in a positive manner, adding to the sympathetic tone. However, when discussing neat people, Britt makes an accusatory, bitter statement without defending it afterward. For example, “neat people are especially vicious with mail. They never go through their mail unless they are standing directly over a trash can.” In this statement, she is bitter all around and does not sympathize with neat people.

  • #4257


    Let me start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, though my opinion may be a little biased (I’m one of the sloppiest people I know). There were two very distinct tones in Britt’s Neat People vs. Sloppy People: defensive and sarcastic. Britt was very defensive in her opinion of sloppy people, presumably because she is one herself. Her assertion that “sloppiness is merely the unfortunate consequence of [sloppy people’s] extreme moral rectitude” is a key phrase that exemplifies this defensive tone. Britt’s choice of diction also serves to illustrate her defensive tone regarding sloppy people. I was particularly drawn to words like “loving”, “ambitious”, and “stupendous”.
    Conversely, both language and diction create a distinctly sarcastic tone regarding neat people. Through strategic word choice and sharp phrases, Britt succeeds in painting a vividly scathing picture of the neat. The phrase “Neat people are bums and clods at heart” made me laugh out loud in its effectiveness at bashing neat people. Another such phrase is “After they’ve finished, they’ll…send the children off to boarding school (too many scuff-marks on the hardwood floor).” Britt’s use of words such as “cavalier”, “vicious”, and “cut” also exemplify this sarcastic tone.

  • #4277


    The tone of this piece is generally critical, disapproving, and unsatisfied. Although the author seems to be complimenting the sloppy person’s “heavenly vision” or “precise plan”, she quickly changes her stance and criticizes sloppy people by noting that they will never reach this perfect state that they desire and ultimately describes them as people who imagine doing something but never actually execute it. Similarly, the author displays her dissatisfaction with neat people by complaining that they have no emotion and just throw everything away with out any attempt to save and use it. Through the author’s disapproving and critical tone, she can show how both neatness and sloppiness are similar in the way that they cause problems, although the problems they cause are very different. The author also uses a rather informal tone by using personal pronouns such as “you see” and using informal words like “Never-never Land”. Lastly, although this is rather irrelevant to tone, I thought it would be interesting to point out that, based on the author’s slight partiality towards sloppy people and her inability to relate with her neat friend, she is most likely a sloppy person.

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