Richard Miller separates his first chapter in Writing of the End of the World by exploring five different subjects. Each subheading includes a 2-3 page mini-essay, where I believe Miller attempts to motivate the reader to think about the effect of literacy on an individual, and also the world around us. Miller questions if reading and writing will matter in the new world that is evolving before us. Miller grabs the reader’s attention immediately by explaining how the Columbine event was linked to the literate arts. The shooters read material which supported their beliefs and wrote poems in English class that were “dark and sad”. With selecting this as the first heading, Miller challenges us to imagine how literacy can cause one to act outside of what most see as normal. Miller organizes this first chapter by dissecting the minds of a handful of readers and writers.
With each single observation, the belief that literacy can affect you deeply becomes more believable due to each example that Miller provides us. He firstly he depicts how reading and writing does not always have a positive effect on you and how it may even cause you great danger. By the end of the essay he is describing how reading and writing can be a bridge to arrive at a more positive emotional or mental state. With selecting examples from both extremes, Miller successfully explains the importance, bad or good, that literacy has had in the past. This prompts us to imagine where it is going presently and where it will be going in the future. I could bring this strategy into my own writing since I believe it is effective. In just under forty pages, Miller is able to widely describe a subject through a few mini-essays, which I find to be impressive. Although, it would take more effort to write like this, since I would need to focus a lot more on organization, and also be able to deeply think about how literacy affected each person and then put in words that make sense.