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Comparison Essay--Rushdie and Doctorow


cat08 11 / 4  
Jul 6, 2007   #1
Here is the whole essay. I just included the first half the essay for reference. The only changes I made to that part is what you suggested. Can you proofread my essay? What are your suggestions? How can I make the conclusion better? Thanks for the help! :)

In the essays "Imagine There's No Heaven" and "Why We Are Infidels," Salman Rushdie and E.L. Doctorow advocate different principles. Although Rushdie criticizes while Doctorow defines the nation's religious beliefs, these writers both focus on secular humanism. Nevertheless, Rushdie's and Doctorow's dissimilar styles of writing affect readers differently.

Because of Rushdie's critical style of writing, "Imagine There's No Heaven" is more stirring. Rushdie straightforwardly rejects religions. He states, "Only the stories of 'dead' religions can be appreciated for their beauty...So you will be told that belief in 'your' stories...must become a vital part of your life in the crowded world" (517). Rushdie candidly dismisses religions as dead, considering them no more than just something to be "appreciated for their beauty." He makes this point in order to bluntly establish that religions are not as important as "your life." Rushdie further states, "every religious story ever told about how we got here is quite simply wrong" (518). Rushdie delivers openly a strong statement that all religion is "simply wrong." Because his statements are unconcerned with the opinions of others, his writing is provocative.

Rushdie then blames religion for many of society's problems. He states,"...if too many people are being born as a result, in part, of religious strictures against birth control, then too many people are also dying because religious culture, by refusing...to fight against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases" (518). Rushdie decries religion for prohibiting birth control, which interferes with the fight against sexually transmitted diseases and causes overpopulation. Later, Rushdie criticizes religion for people living in ignorance. He states, "To choose unbelief is to choose mind over dogma, to trust in our humanity instead of all these dangerous divinities" (518). Rushdie claims that religion inhibits a person from thinking for himself and humanity. He concludes, "The ancient wisdoms are modern nonsenses" (519). Rushdie's blunt conclusion is that religions are ancient wisdoms" that are not pertinent today. His closed-minded statements against religion conveyed through his writing are incendiary.

In contrast, Doctorow's logical style of writing articulates "Why We Are Infidels" more persuasively. First, Doctorow defines the word, infidel. He states, "True, the infidel is not necessarily a nonbeliever; he may also be a believer of the wrong stripe" (514). In other words, an infidel can be someone who has a different belief from another person. He then develops his objective through examples. Doctorow states, "...our religions or religious cults testify to the deeply serious American thirst for celestial connection" (514). Doctorow reveals that Americans' desires for "celestial" or spiritual connection are the reasons for practicing religion. He then states, "The abolitionists decried slavery as sin against God. The South claimed biblical authority for its slaveholding...the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups invoked Jesus as a sponsor of their racism" (515). Clearly, Doctorow makes evident that Americans abusively use religion to justify their actions or defenses. Through Doctorow's logical argument, he makes a persuasive argument that makes the readers understand why we are infidels. As Doctorow simplifies through his examples, the people are considered infidels, since through their religion they discriminate others for their differences.

Rushdie and Doctorow both conclude with the purpose of their essays. Rushdie concludes, "Imagine there's no heaven, my Six Billionth, and at once the sky's the limit" (519). Similarly, Doctorow concludes, "Not just on other shores are we considered a nation of infidels" (516). Through Rushdie's critical style of writing and Doctorow's logical style of writing, both writers conclude on a secular humanism prospect. The difference is that Rushdie suggests the people to be unreligious while Doctorow is simply making known that the people are infidels.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Jul 7, 2007   #2
Greetings!

I think you've done an excellent job! I have just a few suggestions:

... these writers focus on secular humanism. Nevertheless, Rushdie's and Doctorow's dissimilar style of writing affects readers differently.

Through Rushdie's critical style of writing, "Imagine There's No Heaven" is considered more stirring. [is considered by whom? It might be better to leave out "considered."]

Rushdie uses increasing human's intelligence as a defense for his exclamation to be known that all religion is "simply wrong." - I'm not clear on what "increasing human's intelligence means; it should be humans', though.

Rushdie blames religion for many problems that society faces

On the contrary, the readers are enraged and feel that they have been insulted. - You can't speak for all readers. Some might not feel that way.

Essentially, Rushdie is telling the reader that religion prohibits a person from thinking for himself and his community.

Thus, he infuriates the readers, who have practiced their religion for many years. - Again, you are expressing your own views as if they are held by everyone. You could say "he risks infuriating readers..."

Clearly, Doctorow makes evident that Americans abusively use religion to justify their actions or defenses. Through Doctorow's logical argument, he is able to sway the readers and make them understand why we are infidels. - Better might be "he makes a persuasive argument that..."

Just be careful about making sweeping statements that purport to represent the opinions of everyone. Other than that, great job!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP cat08 11 / 4  
Jul 8, 2007   #3
Here is what I've worked on so far. What are your suggestions? Can you proofread my essay? Thanks!
--

I made some small changes. Proofread this one. I will complete the second part of the essay later. What are your suggestions for what I have so far? Thanks for the help!

// 2nd draft removed //
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Jul 8, 2007   #4
Greetings!

Your essay is progressing very well. Here are some more editing tips:

Nevertheless, Rushdie's and Doctorow's dissimilar styles of writing affect [delete "the"] readers differently.

Because his statements are unconcerned with the opinions of others, his writing is evoking. - "evoking" is a verb; you could use "evocative" as an adjective, but that's not really appropriate here. The word you want, I think, is "provocative." See my note below about your use of that word.

Rushdie decries religion for prohibiting birth control, which interferes with the fight against [delete "the"] sexually transmitted diseases and causes overpopulation. Later, Rushdie criticizes religion for people living in ignorance .

Rushdie's blunt conclusion is that religions are ancient wisdoms [delete "] that are not pertinent today.

His closed-minded statements against religion conveyed through his writing are viewed as provocative. - Try to avoic the passive voice, as with "are viewed as.' I suggest using provocative above, and here, say, "are incendiary" or "are inflammatory."

Good work!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Jul 9, 2007   #5
Greetings!

It has turned out well! Here are some editing suggestions:

You should consider deleting or rephrasing this sentence. It is too much of a repetition of what is contained in the quote that precedes it. If the quote makes your point, you don't need to reiterate it with the same words: "Rushdie decries religion for prohibiting birth control, which interferes with the fight against sexually transmitted diseases and causes overpopulation."

First, Doctorow defines the word "infidel."

This sentence again restates too closely the quotation which precedes it: Doctorow reveals that Americans' desires for "celestial" or spiritual connection are the reasons for practicing religion.

As Doctorow demonstrates through his examples, people are [delete "considered"] infidels, because they use religion as an excuse to discriminate against others.

I've made some changes to your conclusion to eliminate the repetition and refine the grammar: "Through Rushdie's critical style of writing and Doctorow's more logical one, both writers present a secular humanism perspective. The difference is that Rushdie advocates that people be unreligious while Doctorow effectively defines what it is to be an infidel.

Good work!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP cat08 11 / 4  
Jul 9, 2007   #6
Here are the changes (in bold) I made to the sentence you suggested to change. Can you take a look at them and see if they are okay? Thanks!

Rushdie decries religion and makes religion the only problem for prohibiting birth control, which interferes with the fight against sexually transmitted diseases and causes overpopulation.

Doctorow reveals that Americans' desires for "celestial" or spiritual connection are faithless reasons for practicing religion.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Jul 9, 2007   #7
Greetings!

I'm afraid that "makes religion the only problem for prohibiting birth control" doesn't really make sense. It's a little unclear what you mean by that part of the sentence. You could just say "Rushdie decries religion's prohibition on birth control, blaming it for sexually transmitted diseases and overpopulation."

The second sentence is good, although "reveals" makes it sounds like he is unveiling some secret or universal truth; "believes" or "maintains" or "insists" or something along those lines might be better.

I hope this helps!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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