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23 January, 19:04

Analyze the childbirth analogy that john steinbeck uses in his essay "symptoms." why do you think steinbeck chose to make this specific analogy? based on the context of the essay, do you think this analogy works? why or why not?

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  1. 23 January, 19:21
    sample answer:

    To make his essay "Symptoms" more relatable to readers in the United States, most of whom have never experienced war firsthand, John Steinbeck uses the analogy of childbirth. By comparing the soldiers'' experiences at war with a mother's experiences during childbirth, Steinbeck draws a parallel between the physical pain and the endurance that both display. He also notes that, just like a mother is able to forget the reality of the pain associated with childbirth and can go on to have more children, a soldier does not talk about his experiences at war because his body and mind attempt to block out those painful and traumatic memories. Steinbeck uses this analogy to make the war experiences more personal and more relatable to his readers because he knows that although most of his readers have not been in a war, they probably understand or even relate to the pain faced by a woman during childbirth.
  2. 23 January, 19:29
    In the essay "Symptoms," John Steinbeck discusses the effects that war can have on soldiers. He argues that soldiers are often reluctant to talk about their experiences, and that one of the reasons for this is because they are likely to forget a lot of it as a defense mechanism.

    Steinbeck explains this by comparing it to childbirth. He tells us that women have the ability to forget about pain after childbirth because this enables them to have more children. It is a defense mechanism. Similarly, soldiers are able to forget the hardship of war in order to keep living their lives or to fight in a war again.

    Steinbeck probably chose this analogy in order to explain the experiences of war in a way that was more relatable to the reader. It is a successful analogy because it fulfill its purpose of explaining what war is like for soldiers.
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