Everything in Its Place by Oliver Sacks offers readers a look into the life of a British neurologist and author who lost his life to cancer. At eighty-two, Sacks lived a long life filled with both happiness and sadness. His collection of essays, found in the text, allows readers to see the world in a realistic way, as Sacks refuses to lessen the challenges of life.
The text is written using first-person and is written in vernacular (one of “ordinary people”). By writing in first-person, Sacks allows readers to see into his personal world. The experiences shared are ones which Sacks actually lived through. He offers readers a “been there, done that” point of view, which some third-person perspectives tend to lack. Sacks chooses to use everyday diction, which allows for most readers to be able to comprehend and ponder the writing. This is important for readers because he does not try to impress readers with elevated and lofty word choice. He wants readers to understand what he is writing about and not struggle with the language.
The topics Sacks chooses to write about are ones which many people can relate. Although many readers may not have had fathers who were world-class swimmers or who have visited the “four grand South Kensington museums,” one could assume that most readers have had common experiences with what inspired them at a young age. By highlighting events that are mostly universal, like swimming and not liking school, Sacks creates a bond with readers through these mutual experiences. Connections between an author and readers are of the utmost importance when the author wishes to pass on knowledge.
Perhaps one of the most moving essays discusses...
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