Crafty Contrast

While the vast majority of Lynsey Addario’s It’s What I Do engages and captivates my attention, the first full paragraph of page 91 (part of Section II) prevails as an extremely vivid section.  From utilization of stark contrasts between the feminine, confident Elizabeth and hesitant Addario’s masculine facade, employment of active verbs, and vivid imagery, a standout piece of literature derives.


Though the juxtaposition of herself and Elizabeth, Addario creates a rich, intriguing selection of writing.  As opposed to simply mentioning Elizabeth’s feminine aspects, Addario milks the opportunity to emphasize the polar opposite nature of her and her colleague.  While describing her own clothes, Addaio remarked that she donned “…jeans or army pants, sturdy hiking boots, a modest top.”  Employment of asyndeton produces a list of traits which lack excitement and vividness.  Such a description accurately mirrors Addario’s current state: a lost woman attempting to blend in with the men surrounding her.


Color serves as an outlet through which Addario expresses her feelings.  While attempting to blend in with surroundings, she cloaked herself in basic hues, including “black, brown, (and) gray.”  Conveying a bleak, boring, drab connotation, dark colors express Addario’s lack of a “sense of normalcy.”  As she attempts to conceal her femininity, Addario obstructs her true character in addition, which, in turn, disrupts her sense of normalcy.

Addario, pictured above, wearing basic colors: blue and navy green


The false sense of identity Addario suffers from made this section particularly compelling as well.  After thoroughly depicting her attempts at a masculine presentation, she notes her drastically differing appearance at home, where she “wear(s) tiny miniskirts and high heels.” While Addario yearns for a sense of belonging and blending in with the predominantly male population in her field of work, the drab colors and “sexless clothing” inaccurately reflect her personality.  Just like any other art form, successful photography results from a blend of technical skills and personal artistic vision.  However, the discomfort associated with attempting to be someone she is not harms Addario’s comfort level, thus impeding her work.


Myriad techniques employed by Addario can enhance the quality of my passion blog, too.  Through use of asyndeton, I will create a description of each coffee shop (in addition to the parallel stories about friends from my hometown) with equal emphasis on all parts of the experience.  This proves an extremely helpful technique since I want to convey the idea that the food and beverages hold the same significance as the surroundings and people I meet in a cafe setting.

The inhabitants of Starbucks, in conjunction with the murals on the walls, lighting, food, and drinks jointly create the ambience


While vivid imagery serves as a crucial portion of any descriptive passage, I strive to employ color imagery and stark contrasts much like Addario.  The multi-colored strands of lights of Penny Lane Cafe, small, yellow globe lights at Irving’s, and dimly-lit nature of Clarence Center coffee all contribute to the overall experience of inhabiting the establishments.  In addition, colors viewed can symbolize the individuals I meet in a cafe (strands of lights surrounded by darkness may symbolize a friendship which both began and ended in the same place).


While Addario and I possess quite different passions, similar techniques can convey the intricacies and personal nature of our interests.

1 Comment on Crafty Contrast

  1. hrd5070
    September 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm (1 year ago)

    I love thew way you brought color and ambiance into your discussion on coffee shops– I didn’t see it coming. Do you think certain coffee shops require or persuade people to wear different types of clothing or colors? Take for example the small coffee shop in Redifer verses a fancy coffee shop in a major city. Or do you think people should be themselves and where what they want?


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