Response to Agodon's "Rejection" Essay

366 WordsMar 13, 20142 Pages
Jean Lozano-Pittsley The essay “Rejection: Give Up or Show Up?” by Kelli Russell Agodon, combines a couple of essay techniques with a few different genres. First, it is a non-fiction essay because it deals with a real subject not invented or imagined by the author. The subject of the essay covers the painful reality that writers get rejection notices. In this essay it is the author’s contention that a rejection letter does not define the writer’s talent. He points out that it is just a part of the job: “But we’re never really alone when we are rejected; it’s the other side of being a writer, the side that isn’t shared as much as our successes.” He uses factual quotes taken from rejection letters (utilizing the epistolary genre) that published authors have received. Sylvia Plath’s writing was rejected by an editor who said, “There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.” These quotes could also place the essay in the form of an expository essay because they impart information. On the other hand, his use of memory in the following lines is symbolic of a memoir: “When I read such negative responses, I always think: What if the writer had just given up?” and his mother’s advice: “Don’t compare yourself with anyone else … unless it’s to make yourself feel better.” These lines quoted from memory place the essay in the fiction genre because memory is flawed. His thoughts or his mother’s words may not have been thought or said in those exact words because memory is flawed and can never be 100 percent accurate. It is also a fiction essay because it has points where the author interjects his own thoughts and feeling in brackets: (Ah Mum, she always knew what to say!) Feelings are interpretive and not facts. The fact is that the essay is written in the persuasive form. It is meant to persuade struggling writers to continue writing despite

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