Family: Television and Shooting Dad Essay

Family, they are there for you no matter what. They love you no matter what your views, but is there anything that is more important then family? In the two essays ; Shooting Dad and TV: The Plug-In Drug, both show what being a family is like for different people. Each essay shows pathos, ethos, and cause and effect in both different and similar ways. TV: The Plug-In Drug, by Marie Winn, is about televisions “taking over” quality family time.

Winn uses pathos by talking to different types of people who come from different types of families; this way you get to hear from other people how the television is taking away from precious memory making.

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Trying to touch each of our emotional sides, although you might not start crying, Winn is able to talk to people and get information about families and the time they spend with each other versus the time in front of the television. Hear what this woman had to say about the television: “We were in the midst of a full-scale War.

Every day was a new battle and every program was major skirmish…We have agreed on 2? hours of TV a day (with dinner gobbled up in between) and two half-hour shows between 7 and 8:30 which enables the grown-ups to eat in peace…” How many of us actually do this? Just like in Shooting Dad, by Sarah Vowell, average people try to use something else to cover up the feelings they have about something. Although Vowell shows a more clear side to pathos she does not get into as much detail, nor is her essay based on facts, which people tend to believe or rely on more then stories.

Vowell uses a childhood story to explain to us how never giving interest to something can lead to being over-looked by the people you care about. One line in this essay that shows a lot of emotion is: “My dad says that when he dies he wants my mom, sister, and me to drag the cannon to the top of the Gravellies on opening day of hunting season. Looking off at Sphinx Mountain put his ashes in a little paper bag, then place the bag in the cannon. Aim the cannon high into the sky, making sure he does not take anyone else with him, just so he can take his last hunting trip on opening morning.

Not only would this be hard for the family to hear their father say, it would also be hard to accomplish. This is very emotional and to some of us it is also quite personal. When it comes to being personal, Winn has an amazing way of sharing each comment with us. The one that touched me the most was from a woman who lived not far from here in Chicago, she said: “As a child I had millions of relatives around- my parents both come from relatively large families. My father had nine brothers and sister. And so every holiday there was this great swoop-down of aunts, uncles, and millions of cousins.

I just remember how wonderful it used to be. The cousins would come and everyone would play and ultimately, after dinner, all the women would be in the front of the house, drinking coffee and talking, all the men would be in the back of the house, drinking and smoking, and all the kids would be all over the place, playing hide and seek. Christmas time was particularly nice because everyone always brought all their toys and games. Our house had a couple of rooms with go-through closets, so there were always kids running in a great circle route. I remember it was just wonderful.

And then all the sudden one year I remember becoming suddenly aware of how different everything had become. The kids were no longer playing Monopoly or Clue or the other games we used to play together. It was because we had a television set which had been turned on for a football fame. All of that socializing that had gone on preciously had ended. Now everyone was sitting in front of the television set, on a holiday, at a family party! I remember being stunned by how awful that was. Somehow the television had become more attractive. ” Do you remember those Christmases?

Not until I read this essay did I clearly understand how the television is overpowering the family time we spend together now. The way Winn is able to use a story that anyone can relate to is so awesome and it makes the essay even more personal. Shooting Dad on the other hand is not people’s comments or stories, it is like the authors biography. Shooting Dad tells about Vowell and her father, how they fight all the time and rarely agree on anything. The reason I find this part so personal is my dad and I disagree on a lot and rarely agree on anything just like in the story.

Sarah Vowell is able to take a personal story and easily make the reader feel like they are in her shoes. While both TV: The Plug-In Drug and Shooting Dad show pathos and ethos in similar and different ways, each one shows cause and effect the same. TV: The Plug-In Drug shows that is you watch television all the time you have no time for family. It also shows that television can take away from something or someone really special. Shooting Dad shows a similar scene although it has nothing to do with a television it still shows how something can “get in the way” of being a family.

The father in this story is all about ammunition, but the daughter could care less; she would rather read a book or make a science project. When the daughter showed interest in her fathers completion of a cannon, she was amazed and they went out together to shoot it. Never would this have happened if the daughter did not try. Shooting Dad and TV: The Plug-In Drug both tell a story that liking something so unimportant so much that is takes away from what really matters. Shooting Dad and TV: The Plug-In Drug are two similar stories, told in different ways.

Vowell, author of Shooting Dad, tries to use more of a personal story to help the reader better understand how average Americans let insignificant things get in the way of a family. TV: The Plug-In Drug on the other hand uses facts and opinion both to help the reader. In using other people’s opinions, the author, Marie Winn, is able to take different stories and create a story of her own that expresses everything and more about a television overpowering a families time spent together. So what matters to you? Is it your television, latest invention, new CD, what means so much to you that your family cannot come first?

If you say “family means more to me than anything” or “ my family always comes first,” remember the last time you were watching television or reading a book and someone called you name. Your response was probably, “ Hang on just a minute, wait until the commercial comes on,” like the average American, we all tend to put something off and tell the person bugging us during our favorite television show to wait, like what they had to say was not important. Before you finish reading this essay, I am going to ask you one more time: Is there anything more important than family?

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