Literary Styles in Week 4

Darnton does a wonderful job of getting into the mindset of these apprentices and attempting to create reasoning for their actions. By building and explaining the mindset of the worker in eighteenth-century France, Darnton is able to relate their actions to actions that the reader currently partakes in such as Marti Gras and the craziness that currently occurs. By adding an explanation as to the cruelty towards animals, Darnton is not able to justify the actions rather, he is able to explain their reasoning. One thing I did not feel Darnton did well was his use of organization within the chapter. As a reader, I did not see where he was going and it felt like he jumped around a little bit, albeit with transitions. With his choice of the introduction, it felt as if the chapter was going to be on cats and their “role” in eighteenth-century France.

In the second piece, Schivelbusch builds a solid argument by organizing his thoughts in the first two paragraphs and then seems to follow that organization, first by explaining the importance of light and then his main argument about the railroad revolutionizing. He uses a historgraphical perspective, using at the time observations and anecdotes to build his argument which really seems to work. He also writes similar to Tuckman using imagery in his choice of primary sources and his writing. I also found it intriguing that rather than just focus on the railroad and what it did for Europe, he focused on the improvements that the railroads made and the difference class made for travelers. All in all, I felt as if Schivelbusch created an easier to read paper with which one could relate, a must in the field of writing history.

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