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Molly Daley LA 101H Analyzing Rhetoric Essay February 29, 2012 If A Bed Could Talk The bed often does

not receive the credit that it deserves. It is the sigh of relief after a long day. It is the dinner table for the majority of college students. It is the reason why people often miss out on an entire afternoon. This same bed places a person in the realm between guilty desire to rest and the dreaded need to start the day. And if the bed could talk it wouldn’t. It has no need to speak a word considering all of its marvelous qualities that it holds by mere stillness as it softly sits in the middle of the room, drawing a person in with each glance of a sheet ripple. This silent rhetoric that the bed implies is always taken for granted and instead of praising the qualities that the bed possess, people often pair a bed with an incompetent or slothful individual. But let’s celebrate the bed for the way it inaudibly persuades a person to doze, despite the owner. Through the rhetorical devices of a bed’s size, comfort level, and appearance of the accessories it possess, the bed as a whole illustrates the owner’s internal and external traits. A rectangle comes in various sizes. From small, medium, to large, the bed captivates the aspect of size through its diverse options it offers to customers once they enter a mattress warehouse. The bed ranges from the dimensions of a crib, single, full, queen, king, and even California king size bed. These different sizes all embrace a phase that a person travels through in their journey of life. For example, when a person is an infant, they are placed in a crib, which is their primary domain, an area where they are caged in and still new to the world. As a person advances to early childhood, they switch to a single bed. Once again, the person advances to adolescent/early adulthood and alters their sleeping arrangements to a full, depicting some sort of maturation in the individual. Then eventually this person reaches the point to swap their mattress to one of a

Molly Daley LA 101H Analyzing Rhetoric Essay February 29, 2012 queen or king, resulting mainly in the stage of an adult or parenthood, demonstrating their “royal” like, territorial position over their household. Even the presence of the bunk bed in rooms argues that those utilizing them are not independent fully and still must depend on others to survive. Such as in a college dorm, where students share a bunk bed with their roommates or when quarreling siblings are divided between top and bottom bunk by their parents. Accompanying sharing a mere bunk bed comes a symbolic period in which people other than siblings or roommates must learn to share a life. Sharing a bed habitually when adjusting to a partner is often seen as a turning point in a relationship. Society continuously forces the ideology that individuals must eventually get to the point of sharing a bed and conform to the belief of getting married and having offspring. The bed itself persuades people to cohabitate by pushing societal views of sharing with a partner. People must shift from their full sized bed to their queen sized, leaving all remnants of their previous habits behind just as they shift stages in life, in order to please and compromise with a partner. Tim Dowling comments in the Politics of Sharing a Bed stating, “Individuals come into relationships with odd sleeping habits of their own, habits that must ultimately be accommodated. Finding a mutually satisfactory layout is usually a matter of trial and error.” Dowling is putting into perspective the development that a person reaches in life when they decide to take the step to “accommodate” and share a bed. Likewise, younger children occasionally hop into bed with their parents during a “lifethreatening” thunderstorm (as they would think) or more commonly during a period when parents are experiencing marital troubles. This transforms the once intimate and romantic king sized bed into one that on the outside resembles a harmonious family willing to spend all waking

Molly Daley LA 101H Analyzing Rhetoric Essay February 29, 2012 and sleeping moments together, but ultimately is a “hotbed,” as Janice G. Tracht has coined the term. Tracht analyzes the “hotbed” as one where privacy is stricken and the child becomes a part of the marriage where he or she shouldn’t be. This type of sharing of the bed develops a negative connotation in the aspect of dependency due to the parent’s need for the child to remain in the bed to allow for the marriage to prevail for that child. But this sharing also incorporates a dependency of the child to the parents, making this stage in the child’s life one incapable of advancing to the full sized bed stage because he or she is too reliant on the parents. All of this sharing together brings about a point of dependency. However, as the size factor comes into play, the bed seems to being using pathos to evoke emotions in the owner to make the individual feel as though they are moving forward in life by transforming the size of the bed. While the size captivates the stereotypical stages an individual embarks on, the comfort level of a bed magnifies the economic status of a person. Although it is saddening, it is apparent that even a person’s bed reflects the class that he or she is a member of in society. The more profit a person acquires, the more spending they can do on objects that may not seem essential to existence. Comfort level of a bed depicts the amount of revenue a person obtains in order to satisfy their bed time needs. Those who have a better sleeping experience are those who are better relaxed when they trail off counting sheep. Many people cannot accomplish the one sheep, two sheep scenario if the relaxation level, which is a product of the comfort level of the bed, is not right on point. According to Better Sleep Council, 65% of Americans are losing sleep a night due to stress. When stress is a component of a person’s sleeping routine at night, the desire to feel as if you are “sleeping on clouds” is difficult to achieve. With less stress, a person is able to venture through

Molly Daley LA 101H Analyzing Rhetoric Essay February 29, 2012 the four stages of the pre-REM cycle and finish at the concluding REM stage where dream manufacturing occurs. Factual evidence of how a sufficient, quick, and undisturbed travel through the sleep cycle results in a more thriving day overall once awakened, demonstrates how the comfort level (which contributes to this sufficiency of a successful sleep cycle) of the bed utilizes logos. However, many members of society cannot achieve this comfort level that a successful sleep cycle demands. The battle between the resources of the upper and lower class in civilization rings true to even the bed. To many the bed is nonexistent. Such as homeless individuals who find their bed to be a floor or a block of wood that they discovered in the dumpster behind a restaurant. Comfort level of a bed is so vital to a successful sleep that 16% of people (Better Sleep Council) find that they cannot sleep due to personal financial issues, which is not usually a problem of those who are financial stable. These financially stable people have the incomes to purchase more comfortable beds and therefore are not faced with the worry of the 16%. If everyone, regardless of social and economic class, had the means to a memory foam pad or a sleep number bed, concerns of sleep would be erased and many aspects of society, such as high school student’s grades, would improve. The bed demonstrates the monetary stability of an individual to be able to obtain the means to assure comfort level in their sleep cycle through luxuries that those less fortunate struggle to achieve. As comfort level hints at hierarchical economic levels, the bed can also argue the creativity of a person by stretching as far as the pattern on the pillow cases that rest underneath of his or her head as they lay down to take a nap. These sheets, pillow cases, comforters, and

Molly Daley LA 101H Analyzing Rhetoric Essay February 29, 2012 more have grown to be extremely gender biased. For instance, the common pink or blue shopping that is done when creating an infant’s room due to the appropriately deemed gender norm bed set color. Bed attire alters as a person ages as well, from rocket ships, to stripes or polka dots, to solids colors, and eventually the more sophisticated Egyptian cotton. Hotel companies such as the Starwood Westin Hotels & Resorts try to appeal to the diverse behaviors and needs of customers by introducing the bed that is an “oasis for the weary traveler.” The hotel claimed that the bed had the following characteristics in order to target these travelers: “a bright white duvet, a down blanket, five feather-and-down pillows, three 230thread-count sheets, and a custom-designed 12 1/2-inch-thick Simmons mattress with 900 individual coils.” The company used these comfy descriptions to lure the people in that they were certain needed a good night sleep because of their traveling habits. The bed expresses distinct physiognomies and traits of a person by a simple glance at the design. For example, sleeping with no sheets could imply that that individual is messy or too busy to take the time to dress their bed. Or sleeping with many objects such as pillows, covers, or clothes on the bed could indicate that a person enjoys the feeling of closure or being surrounded so that they do not feel as though they are sleeping alone. Sleeping with stuffed animals or specially made blankets from infantile could suggest that a person is still attached with the idea of childhood and needs that sense of youthfulness in their life. Making the bed before exiting the room to embark on the day could advocate organization in a person or the need to control even the appearance of their bed. The bed is the most vital expression of a persona because it illuminates an area of complete security and ease. George Orwell declares, “We sleep safe in our beds.” The bed is a

Molly Daley LA 101H Analyzing Rhetoric Essay February 29, 2012 place where a person can truly be themselves. Therefore, the appearance of the bed as a whole can elucidate concealed qualities of a person. The bed is a paradise away from the stressful environment of actual life. It is a sanction. It is the residence of dreams. It is a cuddle zone. Without the bed, the quality of a person’s life decreases because that dominion of coziness is lost. Through the rhetorical concepts of the size, comfort level, and appearance, the bed forces the features of maturity level, class standing, and personality on the owner by a meek observation of an onlooker. These concepts are unavoidable because the necessity of a bed is unavoidable. And if a bed could talk, it would have no need to. The absence of speech makes its persuasive aura even more undeniable.

Works Cited Sleep Statistics. 2009. Chart. The Better Sleep Council. Web. 28 Feb 2012. <http://www.bettersleep.org/mattressology/sleep_stats.asp>. Benett, Andrea. “Upgrading Hotel Beds.” (2005): Web. 28 Feb. 2012. <http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/battle-of-the-beds>. Dowling, Tim. "The Politics of Sharing a Bed." (2010): Web. 28 Feb. 2012. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jan/23/politics-of-sharing-a-bed>. Orwell, George. "Bed Quotes." Web. 28 Feb. 2012. <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/beds.html>. Tracht, Janice G.. "Counseling Corner." Should Children Sleep with their Parents? . Associated Counselors & Therapists, n.d. Web. 28 Feb 2012. <http://www.beachpsych.com/pages/cc101.html>.

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