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Sometimes To Feel Ones Pain One Essay Sample

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Sometimes To Feel Ones Pain One Essay Sample

Sometimes to feel one’s pain, one must put themselves in their shoes and see the world through their eyes. Personal observations or experiences can help a reader better understand an argument and sometimes help relate the writing to the readers own life. Christina Boufis and Barbara Ehrenreich both use personal observations and factual data to write their reports. In my opinion I believe the use of personal observation/or experience really helped both of these author’s in writing their reports. The use of factual information is always important when writing to convince an audience but using one’s own personal experience in the mix helps a reader relate to the story, keeps the reader interested, enriches and deepens the experience for the reader. Therefore I will write throughout this essay on how both author’s personal observation helped strengthen their writings.

To start off Christina Boufis’s “Teaching Literature at the County Jail” talks about how she teaches literature in two different worlds. One being a female prison and the other being Berkerly students. Boufis uses her personal experiences to describe her teaching in literature to both female inmates in comparison with college level students. In “Teaching Literature at the County Jail,” Boufis talks about how she teaches the same book to her female prisons students and notices that her “Berkeley students don’t pick up on the drug connection” (p98) the same as her female students at the prison. Boufis’s gives readers the insight on how one’s personal experiences affect their connection with the rest of the world. She describes how her Berkeley students just want to know ultimately what the book means and get frustrated when they can’t get the meaning right away. Boufis also discusses the harsh environment in female prisons and how as sad as it can be most of the females are there for petty crimes. In order for Boufis to help set the background or setting for her writing she uses her personal observation throughout her writing.

Without the use of her personal input it would be hard for the reader to understand on the connection the female prisoners have with the literature and how connecting to a book really helps understand literature but most importantly knowing that life itself does not always provide answers (p98). In my opinion it would be hard or even boring to read Boufis’s writing if she didn’t use her personal observation. She could have simply wrote and used facts on why the environment in these prisons are harsh or how 90 percent of incarcerated women have been sexually, emotionally, or physically abused (p99). The connections the prisoners used with the literature helped understand the unfortunate situation they were put in. She could of also made a statement on how her Berkerly students never committed crimes to put them in jail so they didn’t know anything about the connections with some of the literature she taught. Without the use of Boufis personal experience on how teaching students and prisoners it would be hard for the reader to really compare on how two worlds are heavily different.

Also on how just because someone may be smart doesn’t mean they can possibly know how life is when not given many choices, leading to petty crimes and the unfortunate punishments people receive. As stated the use of Boufis personal observation really helped her argument in the harsh environments in this female prison and the harsh reality that most of the females there were never given enough opportunity’s to do something else in their life. Another writing by Barbara Ehrenreich “Nickel and Dimed: On Not getting By in America” really helped readers understand the hardships of today’s world throughout the eyes of the author. Ehrenreich went above and beyond in using personal experience to help the reader really understand the hardships of minimum wage jobs and the difficulty’s people face financially. She puts herself in her research to see if people who work in restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and other service jobs make enough to provide necessities like shelter, food, and transportation. Ehrenreich also uses facts such in as to indicate that it takes “on average nationwide, an hourly wage of $8.89 to afford a one bedroom apartment . . .” (p. 245).

In other words that means that people with few skills to trade for higher paying jobs, the choice for survival is working two or more minimum wage jobs. Ehrenreich use of herself in her research helps understand in which no proven facts or statistics can possibly show. In my opinion it was very bold of her to try and see how the “other” half-lives and in doing so helped every reader either connect with or simply understand the lives of the working class. Looking back at Ehrenreich’s experiment it’s easy to say she learned a lot and definitely helped the readers relate to a different world they may or may not be in. The use of both facts and personal observation showed how Low-wage job are very demanding, often degrading with strict rules and regulations. One example she uses is how most of the places she worked had policies against the employees speaking to one another, which she thought was an attempt to keep employees from airing their dissatisfaction and attempting to be against the management.

With this in mind Ehrenreich could have only made these observations by putting herself in her experiment. Boufis’s experience with teaching at the prison was helpful in showing a glimpse of how life and the lives of the females is in an everyday setting. I’m not saying that facts are not important when trying to convince an audience or that using a lot of personal observation/experience helps all the time. Using facts definitely helps especially when trying to convince the audience on proven facts. Finding the right balance in both is very important and also knowing who your audience is and what your main argument is. The main reason I believe that both Boufis and Erenreich use of personal experience was very useful is because the purpose of their reports weren’t in the sense of being about business or along those lines but was written in a way to connect with the reader and with the people they wrote about.

Personal observations or experiences helped both Boufis and Ehrenreich in their writings to help their audience better understand their argument and help relate to the writing. Boufis’s essay could have been just about life in the female prisons but by using herself and experience she’s able to connect with the prisoners herself and help readers see a different perspective throughout her experience teaching female prisoners. Ehrenreich used herself in her experiment in which in helped showed the difficulty that comes along with minimum wage paying jobs by seeing it through her eyes. The use of factual information was important in their reports and the use of their own personal experience helped readers relate to the story, keep the text interesting, enrich and deepen the experience for the reader.

Work Cited
Barbara Ehreneich“Teaching Literature at the County Jail,”

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