Critical Analysis

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John A. Rodriguez Beverly Williamson ENG-111-YD11 24 September 2012 Critical Analysis I In the essay,“Housecalls,” Oliver Sacks writes about his experiences as a young man with his father and his family. In the beginning of the essay, Sacks explains how his father, a physician, was very devoted to his work. His library was filled with scholarly books in which he would be absorbed. Throughout the essay, Sacks writes about this unspoken closeness that he felt with his father; however, what really makes his story powerful is his ability to combine detailed personal observations and experiences, with an admirable tone, and a descriptive style of writing. Sacks starts his essay by stating the main idea or thesis of his essay. “My Father was not given to emotion or intimacy, at least in the context, the confines, of the family. But there were certain times, precious times, when I did feel close to him” (223). This idea that Sacks presents is carried throughout his essay by giving examples from his past. Since it is a narrative, he does not use scientific data or surveys as his evidence, but rather historical references of his childhood. An example of this is shown when he speaks of his father’s reading: “Seeing his intense absorption in reading, and the expressions that would appear on his face as he read (an involuntary smile, a grimace, a look of perplexity, or delight), perhaps drew me to reading very early myself, so that even before the war I would sometimes join him in the library, reading my book alongside him, in deep but unspoken companionship” (223). Despite his father’s “Intense absorption,” Sacks still felt close to him because they had a common interest. Like reading, they also loved to swim. “I felt closest to him, truly his son, when we went swimming together,” recalls Sacks (224). The closeness that was felt was not acquired by having a heart to

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