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Timed Essay

When imagining a river, at least personally, a smooth-flowing, slow-moving,


and simplistic picture comes to mind. John M. Barry completely altered my
viewpoint by communicating the complex mechanics behind rivers, specifically the
Mississippi, and illustrating his fascination for the river. Barry strategically
accomplishes this communication through complex, specific diction and vibrant
examples of river tendencies through imagery.
Throughout Barrys passage, he utilizes an array of vocabulary pertaining
specifically to river function. This intellectually driven use of diction provides
evident credibility to his paper while creating an aura of complex terms for the
reader to grasp at. Terms such as, surface velocities, sediment load, and
midstream and mid-depth velocities are punctuated throughout his passage.
Notably, this vocabulary is not general knowledge, therefore forecasting Barrys
experience pertaining to rivers, and time spent fanaticizing over the Mississippis
various complexities that separate it from other rivers. Barry evidently took time to
learn facts about the Mississippis specific characteristics, a feat no man partakes
unless he is somewhat obsessed or fantasized. Other terms like friction and
turbulence are also recycled throughout Barrys first column. With such an
inclusive line up of vocabulary being utilized singularly in the first column, not the
second, we, as readers, glimpse not only a scientific addiction through function and
terminology, but also a figurative, fascination about the Mississippi in the second
column. Barry purposefully presents his two respective outlooks in separation to
first portray a scientific, credible approach, and then a more obsessed, fascinated
personality through descriptive imagery.
Throughout Barrys second column, he employs detailed imagery to illustrate
the Mississippis power, unpredictable attitude, and unusual habits. He states, It
runs south in layers and whorls, like an uncoiling rope made up of a multitude of
discrete fibers, each one following an independent and unpredictable path, each
one separately and together capable of snapping like a whip. Barry accurately
depicts the Mississippi as a layered, moody teenager. He personifies the capability
of the river to be calm in one wave of water, yet snap like a whip in the next. This
layered description personifies Barrys fascination of the Mississippi by highlighting
a sense of awe and respect for the river. He takes the time to transcribe the rivers
complex habitual phases to his readers in a relatable, fanaticized, easy to
comprehend manner throughout the second column. Furthermore, Barry conditions,
the surface in one spot one or two feet higher than the surface close byas if
trying to devour itself. He again personifies the Mississippis unusual moody
mechanics, by presenting it in a manner of chaos. Barrys use of personification
through Imagery further solidifies his fascination of the truly alive Mississippi.
Sometimes, miraculous, complex, and unpredictable phenomenas can be
perplexing to translate into words. Yet, John Barry is proficiently able to
communicate his love of the Mississippi river through scientific, specific diction, and
personifying, layered imagery