Analysis: Read over your handout on How to Analyse an Essay and create point form notes to demonstrate your analysis of the essay. Please submit these notes along with your answers to the following questions. Answer each question using complete sentences. Use specific evidence from the essay to support your answers.
Activate prior knowledge Title: April Fools on Polar Circus allows me to infer that essay is possibly about an April Fools prank gone terribly wrong on the mountain or a stressful incident that ultimately makes the climbers “April fools” Already know: Polar Circus is an alpine climb on Cirrus Mountain in the Athabascan Icefields of the Canadian Rockies, April Fools is celebrated every year on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes Unfamiliar vocab: Couloir- A couloir (a French word meaning “passage” or “corridor”), is a narrow gully with a steep gradient in a mountainous terrain.
A couloir may be a seam, scar, or fissure, or vertical crevasse in an otherwise solid mountain mass. Undulating- To move with a smooth wavelike motion. Knoll- a small hill or mound Classify the essay as formal or informal: Essay is informal as topic is of interest to the writer Appeals to a general audience Topic is serious but the essay strives to entertain and interest reader Vivid language Use of illustration Personal anecdote Writer as important as topic
Identify the essay’s pattern of argument: Exposition The goal is to report about an event or a situation and by doing so elucidate that subject She is explaining to us the role of fear and how these factors force her to change as a person Identify the essay’s structure: Narrative Tells a story and analyzes/evaluates the significance of the story She is telling us the story of her climb and the impact it has on her as fear weaves its way in and out of the story Incorporates dialogue
Determine the method of organization Order of impression Details are presented in the order in which they catch the reader’s attention Helps the reader understand the writer’s point of view Determine the thesis Roddan presents her thesis in the final line of the first paragraph- “the tango with fear makes me wise. ” Thesis is implicit as conclusion develops through the content of essay, rather than knowing where the story/argument is going to end
Types of proofs Anecdote- brief story composed of enticing incident/ encounter with fear while climbing Polar Circus Description- presents a sensory experience in words and extends to include an analysis of significance of the “picture” Analyze the writer’s style Cause and effect- The climber has “reason to come down” but partner retaliates with”It depends on how much you want it,” resulting in the climber to challenge herself and continue with her “tango with fear” Description- Writer uses descriptions to thoroughly inform us of her experiences as shown through phrases such as “a chasm fifteen feet wide… etween my partner, Barb, and me,” “dark, claustrophobic couloir” and ” “barndoor” open and the block of ice topples over my shoulder. I look down to see the ice explode beside Barb, who suddenly looks tiny and hunched in her small belay stance. ”
Simile last two pitches of the climb cascade out of the notch like a enormous wedding gown” allows us to understand the relationship between the climber, her partner, and the mountain Metaphor- “Doubt slides in with spaghetti arms and little shivers that evaporate my courage. This metaphor explains to us indirectly that to dance with any partner, trust and understanding is crucial Tone- informal tone as topic is of interest to the writer, appeals to a general audience, topic is serious but the essay strives to entertain and interest reader, vivid language is used Examine the effectiveness and limitations of the essay Both analogies of the tango and wedding are of main focus within essay Uses powerful verbs to describe her actions, “I rail and pound against it.
The dance becomes a struggle” Tango imagery most prevalent as shown through,” “The tango with fear makes me wise” and “This solid, physical connection to the world causes the fear to recede… first from the arms, then from the mind… then even more gradually fear’s fingers release the heart, which eventually slows and quiets. The intensity is replaced with warm, smooth, flowing beats.
The rhythm takes hold, and the dance begins again. ” Both analogies allow us to make a connection to the writer and to the essay, even if we have no experience with mountain climbing )Given the content of the essay why is the title “April Fools on Polar Circus” appropriate? The title “April Fools on Polar Circus” is appropriate because, essentially, it relates to the irony within the essay. The climb itself occurs on April Fools day and the author compares herself and her partner to “April Fools” when she states,”The April fools, married with fear and laughter on Polar Circus. ” I can distinguish them as fools myself as anyone who would deliberately put themselves in danger to complete a climb at that time of year is insane, no matter how passionate they are about the activity.
She also concludes that because of this fear and foolishness, she becomes wiser as shown through the thesis: “The tango with fear makes me wise. ” 2) Roddan writes that “the tango with fear makes me wise. ” Does it, in your opinion? Provide phrases that illustrate “the tango with fear. ” What evidence is there that it makes the climber “wise”? In my opinion the tango with fear does make us wise, as it reveals the parts within ourselves that we haven’t yet discovered, and the actions we would take in fearful situations. Some phrases that illustrate “the tango with fear” are: “Fear sharpens my senses.
It dances through my body. It tunes me. It wraps its fingers around my heart and squeezes gently. I lean to welcome fear and the edge it brings me, the whispered warnings, the adrenaline,” “We hold on, struggling to control the fear that pounds through our veins and capillaries,” and “This solid, physical connection to the world causes the fear to recede… first from the arms, then from the mind… then even more gradually fear’s fingers release the heart, which eventually slows and quiets. The intensity is replaced with warm, smooth, flowing beats. The rhythm takes hold, and the dance begins again.
These incidents with fear makes the climber “wise” as they elicit responses from her that she isn’t aware of as shown through “We encourage each other; we push each other,” suggesting that the climber’s fear has allowed her to push her partner and herself onward. Another example of this is when the author states, “Impossible to return, I fight. I hit hard to get good placements. A big block of ice disengages itself; my tool is embedded in it. Time stops, and in slow motion I swing onto my other ice axe. I “barndoor” open and the block of ice topples over my shoulder. This demonstrates that with fear comes the “fight or flight” response within the climber that we don’t normally have within ourselves in calmer situations.
This allows her to whatever it takes to protect herself from the dangers surrounding her, ultimately making her wise. 3)Roddan uses two sets of linked images to tell her story: dance imagery and wedding imagery. Outline the development of these ideas by listing the sentences and phrases that Roddan uses for each image. Dance imagery is presented to us when the writer states, “The tango with fear makes me wise” and “This solid, physical connection to the world causes the fear to recede… irst from the arms, then from the mind… then even more gradually fear’s fingers release the heart, which eventually slows and quiets. The intensity is replaced with warm, smooth, flowing beats. The rhythm takes hold, and the dance begins again. ” Wedding imagery is presented to us when the writer exclaims, “The last two pitches of the climb cascade out of the notch like an enormous wedding gown.
Today’s brides approach slowly, touched by the mystery and majesty of the place” and “a happy marriage of fear, sweat, intelligent strength, and smiles. ” )Although this essay tells a story, it is not an example of short fiction. It is, however, a narrative essay. What characteristics make it narrative? What characteristics make it an essay? There are many characteristics that make this a narrative essay, including the essay being told in first person as shown through, “The dance with fear fascinates me. Learning to accept fear, to take it in without letting it take over, is one of the challenges of climbing ice,” and the incorporation of an informal tone, as well as the reliance on a personal story to support the thesis.
A narrative essay is a combination of essay writing and storytelling, where the writer analyzes and evaluates the significance or meaning of the story being told. We are shown this as we look at the structure of the essay itself. Other characteristics include development and structuring of ideas in a logical coherent way, and the presentation of a thesis whether implicit or explicit, to guide the reader through the significance of the essay itself.