Commonplace Entry #7

“She came naturally by her confused and groundless fears, for her own mother lived the latter years of her life in the horrible suspicion that electricity was dripping invisibly all over the house. It leaked, she contended, out of empty sockets if the wall switch had been left on. She would go around screwing in bulbs, and if they lighted up she would hastily and fearfully turn off the wall switch and go back to her Pearson’s or Everybody’s, happy in the satisfaction that she had stopped not only a costly but a dangerous leakage. Nothing could ever clear this up for her.”

-p.16 of “My Life and Hard Times” by James Thurber

James Thurber humorously describes his¬†grandmother in this passage. The ethos he projects about his grandmother is an ill-informed and a paranoid¬†individual. The emotions he elicits in the reader (pathos) includes feelings of amusement, curiosity, and ¬†pity. This short description is written in the medium style, used to entertain and tell a story. I appreciate James Thurber’s clever figures of speeches (one can only consider if electricity leaks without its bulbs or not).

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