Tahsini, Neda Tahsini 1
AP English Language and Comp.
15 October 2018
Okefenokee Swamp Compare/Contrast Formal Essay
The two passages about Okefenokee Swamp on the Georgia-Florida border both provide a description of the swamp, though the purpose is different for each passage. The writer of passage one depicts it as an impressive area of nature, and entices readers to visit the swamp. On the other hand, the writer passage two renders it a miserable place, with the intent of keeping people away. Although both writers describe the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia and northern Florida, the author of passage one portrays it as a positive place, as shown through ennobling diction, admirable details, and pleasant imagery. In contrast, the author of passage two intends to repel people from the swamp, as is clearly revealed through hostile diction, menacing details, and distasteful imagery. The distinct style of each writer in the passages conveys their purpose through their individual utilization of diction, details, and imagery.
To begin with, both authors demonstrate their own purpose through use of diction. Passage one labels the water channels as an “intricate” maze (19). The connotation of the word “intricate” causes readers to imagine the channels as a complex spectacle, thus creating a sense of wonder, which would attract visitors to the swamp. In addition, the writer of passage one refers to the swamp’s “exotic” flowers, even providing a few examples (19-20). Use of the word “exotic” here associates the flowers with rarity, influencing readers to visit the swamp and see for themselves, because it is a marvel that they will not have the opportunity to witness most anywhere else. In the second passage, however, the author employs diction for an opposing purpose, describing the swamp’s insects as “stinging”, “biting” and “boring” (9). “Stinging” and “biting” connect the swamp’s wildlife with feelings of pain that readers would not enjoy experiencing, thus repelling them from the marsh. The word “boring” delineates the swamp and its animals as simple, contrasting the sense of amazement established by passage one. The writer of passage two also claims that things “fester” down in the swamp (12). “Fester”, in this context, means to rot, and instills feelings of disgust and repulsion associated with the swamp. The writers of each passage utilize diction for their own purposes, and create opposing feelings associated with the swamp.
Additionally, each writer’s purpose is revealed by their use of details in the passages. In passage one, the author writes, “Vegetation is dense… giant tupelo, bald cypress… pine trees predominate… floating hearts, lilies, and rare orchids, abound” (14-21). Here, the writer focuses on describing the plants of the swamp, and highlights their positive attributes, such as the flowers’ exoticness. On the contrary, passage two focuses on describing the wildlife, and in doing so emphasizes its negat...