Initial impressions are really hard to convey when it comes to books you’re assigned in classes. If we get down to the nitty gritty when it comes to first impressions, it’s almost always “dammit, another book I need to buy and pay money for for a couple months.”
That was my initial reaction to this book, I will be completely honest. I questioned why I had to read a book for a writing class. As I finally got over myself and looked at the back of the book, I got a bit enthused. It seemed like an interesting concept when it came do a narrative. Personally, I enjoy reading graphic novels and don’t have a problem with the medium whatsoever. I think it’s an excellent way to tell a story, particularly to right-brained people.
“The Ride Together” has a style that works flawlessly, in my opinion. The fact that certain ideas and thoughts are specifically presented in either graphic style or textual style is a beautiful concept. Had it not been like this, I don’t think I would enjoy it as much.
Identify the rhetorical strategies used Judy’s narrative chapters. What does each rhetorical strategy enable her to do? How do they help her tell her story?
Judy’s chapter’s are the text based chapters that have a very strange and somewhat unusual longform style. Initially, the eye shies away from the writing style since it’s more of a long list than a coherent chapter. Instinctively we are drawn away from listing because it isn’t aesthetically pleasing and conjurs up images of shopping at stores and/or McCarthyism.
For the record, by “list format” I mean writing in very short and very thing paragraphs and spacing everything out.
However, when one gets over the fact that it isn’t a comic and isn’t pretty, it’s actually pretty interesting. The style that is used is that of pure simplicity and clarity. Judy makes things easy for the reader and tries to explain things at a ground-zero level of understanding because she clearly realizes that some of the readers might struggle to empathize with her family situation. At the same time, Judy’s simplicity makes it easy for people who can understand her situation as well.
As a reader, one strives to understand the underlying point and idea that the writer is getting at and, overall, this goal can be achieved easier when one writes in an easy style. Judy also makes this easy on us by using the first person. The combination of the easy writing and the first person makes her selections flow like a natural voice.