Lilli Lugosi

STACC English 1A
Professor Ogden
January 26, 2014

Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher

Part 1: Summary
Mary Pipher starts off her book with many bold statements. She touches on many
different political issues and is not afraid to give her personal opinion on them. The
author brings up subjects and topics that are extremely relevant in this day and age.
When she does that, she has a way of showing them in a different light than one would
originally think. She explains how many different styles of writing there are and that you
can use different tones to give off different personas. Writing is a power that we all
posses and can make great change with. She admires Anne Frank tremendously and is
fascinated by her story. Mary Pipher explains her upbringing and how she learned that
writing was a way of expressing herself. She states that when writing, one must dig deep
into oneself to have rich, deep writing.

Part 2: Outline
I. Mary Pipher discovers Anne Frank’s past during the Holocaust
A) Mary believes that Anne symbolized hope and truth and that she was an inspiration
to many people
II. Writing is designed to change the world
A) People’s emotions change based on what they read whether it makes them feel
happy, sad or mad
B) Writing is used to help promote things
C) Mary Oliver wrote about environmental issues to help people see the real truth
III. Artful Propaganda/Art
A) Art is a form of expression
B) A painting can change somone’s viewpoint about something
IV. Moral Writing
A) Moral Writing is based on human behavior and our everyday lives.
V. “I Am from”
A) Refugees write a poem that all begins similarily
B)Writing can bring up past thoughts and feelings
VI. Mary Piphers family
A) Mary talks about her family and her growing up
B) She encourages writers to write short autobiographies of themselves in hopes that
they will see a progression of change
III. Create your path
A. Make a timeline of your life

Part 3: Vocabulary
Exuberantly- effusively and almost uninhibitedly enthusiastic; lavishly abundant. I got
this definition from the online dictionary.
Circumscribed- to draw a line around; encircle. This definition was also from the online
dictionary.
Parading- a military ceremony involving the formation and marching of troop units, often
combined with saluting the lowering of the flag at the end of the day. This too was from
the online dictionary.
Methodists- a member of an evangelical Protestant church founded on the principles of
John and Charles Wesley in England in the early 18th century and characterized by active
concern with social welfare and public morals. I got this definition from the united
Methodists website.
Divergent- relating to or being an infinite sequence that does not have a limit or an
infinite series whose partial sums do not have a limit. I got this definition from a
Webster’s Dictionary.

Part 4: Discussion Questions
Why do you think writing effects us emotionally?
What made Mary Pipher so interested in Anne Frank?
Do you think that Mary Pipher is right by saying that writing about yourself is the best
form of improving your writing?
What is the point of having an equanimity attitude while writing?
If not writing, what are other forms of expression?

Part 5: Reflection
So far this text has been really confusing to me. I have never really read a book before
that’s similar to this. I do like how honest and up from Mary Pipher is though, she seems
down to earth and trustworthy. This book reminds me a lot of some of the short stories
we read this week. For example, in Anne Lamott’s “Shitty First Drafts” she explains that
you just need to write and scribble down as much as you can and good will come out of
that. Mary Pipher says to dig deep inside for the best writing but I think it’s just as useful
as peeling away the “bullshit” that Anne Lamott argues. This text also reminds me of
Hetain Patel’s video because you can never judge someone by the way they talk and
dress yet, that is the sole reason Anne Frank had to write the Diary in the first place. She
was marked and judged for something that she didn’t really even choose to be.