The writer of the essay introduces and actually bases most of the opening paragraphs of the essay on how the media frames the issue of class distinction in society. With proper usage of examples, it is easy to see how the media defines the rich, the middle class and the poor.
This part of the essay is very interesting to read and it is easy to understand what the writer is trying to propose. The challenge comes in the paragraph introduced by the title “The realities of class” (Kendall, 236). By introducing the facts and figures, the author seems to contradict herself.
Reading through at first, it almost seems that the writer is trying to argue that the statuses of individuals is determined by economic forces in a real-life situation and not dictated by the media as she had earlier said. The creative piece that had preceded this section looses its substance though it had initially made a lot of sense. While reading through the paragraphs embodied in under the sub-title “The realities of class” the smooth flow of ideas from the initial part of the essay is interfered with. It becomes easy to lose focus and most of the time I found myself getting tempted to skip this section altogether.
The part with the statistical data was the most difficult to try and focus on and it was not until I got to the later paragraphs that I realized its connection to the development of the entire essay. However, even then I still did not find it absolutely necessary and I reached the end of the essay thinking that the author could have made her point without getting into the intricacies of economics.
In order to understand the section titled “The realities of class” I had to devise a strategy that would enable me connect it with the rest of the essay. This plan involved some personally crafted approaches to enable me make sense of the section. These approaches included:
Since I already knew that this paragraph was coming, I would spend some time to carefully read the section and try to understand the importance of every sentence in the section. I should be prepared to expect some change in the flow of the essay when I get to this section and will therefore not get disappointed to find it almost fully different from the initial paragraphs of the entire essay.
The section contains facts and figures which on the face of it could be slightly intimidating. However, in order to understand the section, I will try not to get scared by the numbers and will spend time to find their relation to the general topic. This after all is not an economics paper and it would be safe to assume that the author did not intend for the figures to confuse the average reader. Therefore, chances are that it will not take a lot to make sense of the data.
I will try and avoid the temptation to get over with this section of the essay and move on to the next part. This will be achieved by setting out from the onset to only proceed once I have completely understood the author’s intention in including it in the essay. Sentences that did not initially make sense will be read through attentively and if need be, they will be re-read until that point where I am satisfied that I have made sense of them.
After applying this strategy, the message of the author has now become clear. Contrary to initial opinion, the writer is not trying to deviate from the topic but is instead using the numbers to emphasize her argument that the media should try to positively cover issues of the poor and the middle class.
For instance the percentages of people in the different categories of wealth have been used to emphasize the point that a majority of the population is in the middle and the low class sub-groups. With the super rich and the very rich altogether making a measly 1% it does not make sense for the media to dedicate a huge percentage of their airtime and paper space to address the issues of the people in this class.
This essay is targeted at illustrating how improperly the media have framed the issue of class differences and it is supposed to come up with recommendations on how they can improve their performance. It therefore makes sense for Diana Elizabeth Kendall, the author, to use facts and figures from general society in order to support her argument. Failure to do this would have made the essay lose all the credibility.
Using the strategy in analyzing the essay has made me aware that it is not wise to ignore some parts of a reading on the premise that they do not rhyme with what had been initially read. The strategy will definitely come in handy in analyzing other pieces of literature and will be used again to enhance understanding.
Kendal, Elizabeth. Framing class: media representations of wealth and poverty in America. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. Print.