The aim of this project (II) is to write an inquiry essay and review its structure, writers, audience, and material. Pico Iyer’s post, Living in the Transit Lounge, explores the author’s experience traveling around the world as a lounger. He vividly recounts his life since he was a child, often traveling to different parts of the country for education and recreation. This text by Iyer is very insightful since it discusses a variety of current topics, such as the effects of assimilation and the difficulties that individuals encounter in foreign countries. Furthermore, the fact that there are high migration levels today makes the topic of interest as immigrants as well as loungers may not be aware of the effects of living away from relatives. By understanding the content of the essay, I plan to address the various rhetorical devices that have been used to persuade the audience on the relevance of the message conveyed. I need to appreciate the effort of two of my classmates who helped me understand the content of the text. At first, the essay seemed complex, and I had limited knowledge on how to address the form and content of the text. However, after series of discussion with my classmates, I have been able to understand these concepts, and as a result find the writing process easier.
The reviewed article by Iyer illustrates how the world has changed over the years, and has presented new opportunities to the current generation. The author refers to himself as a Transit Lounger, an individual who is able to move from one place to another without any restrictions for different purposes. Like him, he states that loungers have been forced by the “small world” to move to far places in search of jobs, education, or for personal gain. Key outstanding components of the article are the advantages and disadvantages of being a lounger. The comparison offers a clear impact of being a traveler on the loungers’ lives. Iyer concludes with mixed reactions whether to be proud of the non-affiliation or to get concerned over the reduced humane conscience. This paper analyses the essay in terms of the form, content, audience, and the rhetorical techniques utilized by the author.
The author has utilized the form of a factual text in which he presents his ideas on a particular issue to the audience. Iyer explains vividly how why he perceives himself as a Transit Lounger by exploring the various places he has moved to. He also attempts to include other people who have had similar experiences in order to persuade the readers on his content. An important element of writing that is recognizable in the text is the use of informal tone. The author uses a first person tense, “I,” to narrate his narration. In the first sentence, for instance, he states, “By the time I was nine, I was already used to going to school by trans-Atlantic plane…” (Iyer 147). He uses the informal tense to describe his personal experience of being a lounger. The essay has been organized in paragraphs with different sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. The paragraphs are, however, inconsistent in regards to size with some composed of only 3 sentences while others have about 5 to 6 sentences.
It is also important to consider the content of the essay as it aids in understanding of the theme as well as the audience. Throughout the text, Iyer discusses about his lounging experience in which he narrates how he moved from California to England as young as the age of nine. He describes how he has been able to visit different areas including Morocco, China, Tibet, San Francisco, and Osaka. A key message he conveys to the audience is the fact that the privilege of lounging is only available to his generation, unlike the past when movement was restricted. He states, “Ours is the first generation that can go off to visit Tibet for a week, or meet Tibetans down the street; ours is the first generation to be able to go to Nigeria for a holiday to find our roots—or to find they are not there” (Iyer 148). The past generation never obtained the luxury of moving to different places while the current generation is able to move with the help of globalization and international money transactions.
The author also highlights the benefits and challenges associated with lounging. One of the key benefits he presents is the resulting sense of freedom and mobility. Loungers can move to wherever they wish without any limitations, a scenario that has been encouraged by the welcoming citizens. He claims that rather than feeling as an alien, he has always become the focal point of the areas he visits as he enjoys the benefits. He states, “I have the privileges of an outsider: I am an object of interest, and even fascination; I am a person set apart, able to enjoy the benefits of the place without paying the taxes” (Iyer 148). Unlike the harsh reception of the past when one visited a foreign place, the world has changed with new people like Iyer being embraced and treated with appreciation. He acknowledges that this freedom has promoted a society of belongingness and blessings in which everyone can fit anywhere.
Iyer further presents a dilemma in the way Transit Loungers are impacted by the free movement. He posits that being a lounger has left him without an identity. He cannot define his own place of origin or even understand who he is. He claims, “I am not an exile, really, not an immigrant; not deracinated, I think, any more than I am rooted… Yet is ‘citizen of the world’ enough to comfort me?” (Iyer 149). The author fails to find solace anywhere as he understands that he does not belong anywhere in particular; this selflessness can result in the erosion of self-identity. Another challenge associated with lounging is the lack of affiliation; individuals who move do not understand the need of values or beliefs. As illustrated by the author, being part of “no society” makes an individual less accountable and lacks the respect of laws in land.
The audience of the text is the loungers and the general public who may wish to lead the life of a Transit Lounger. Throughout the essay, Iyer explains his encounter with travelling around the world since he was a young boy. He appreciates the good experience he has whenever he travels. However, most part of the essay constitutes his lamentation of the possible impacts of lounging on one’s life. This is meant to instigate loungers to limit their travel, and may be lay a foundation and have a sense of identity in a particular country. In addition to this, with the comprehensive information, individuals who would wish to become loungers would consider the repercussions of intense travelling. The author has discussed the social and emotional impacts of intense lounging as experienced by Naipaul and Nabokov who have led the life of foreignness.
In his attempt to convey his message, the author has utilized key rhetorical techniques to convince his audience including ethos, pathos, and logos. Iyer has considered the use of ethical appeal in which he assures the audience of his credibility towards addressing the topic of discussion. In the essay, before he embarks on elaborating the benefits and challenges of lounging, the author proves his credibility by citing that he has been a traveler himself all his life, In the first paragraph, he explains, “By the time I was nine, I was already used to going to school by trans-Atlantic plane, to sleeping in airports, to shuttling back and forth, three times a year… Throughout the time I was growing up, I was never within 6,000 miles of the nearest relative” (Iyer 147). He explains that he has been a lounger throughout his lifetime and has never lived close to relatives for a long time. With such experience, it is easier for the audience to believe in the message conveyed, thus, increasing credibility.
Pathos has also been utilized by the author in order to persuade the audience through appealing to their emotion. In the text, Iyer invokes sympathy from his audience in many instances. For instance, he explains how one would feel alienated without any self-identity or belongingness, a situation that may create the worst creatures. He explains, “… in forests and on streets, we hardly worry about the changes it is working in ourselves, the new kind of soul that is being born out of a new kind of life. Yet this could be the most dangerous development of all, and not only because it is the least examined” (Iyer 153). The audience would feel pity for the author who fears for losing himself in case his addiction for lounging does not stop, and as such, would wish not to lead such as lifestyle. Similarly, towards the end of the story, the author vividly describes the lack of emotional connection among Transit loungers with their relatives. While they say people “weeping, shouting, and kissing in airports,” all they can do is to alight with similar emotions they embarked with. This scenario can also evoke pity and remorse among the audience.
In the essay, Iyer considers the relevance of logos in which he reviews historical analogies who had been involved in the exploration of different countries. Iyer tries to explain the situation of Transit Loungers by giving an example of Naipaul whom he tells the audience to read about. From the text, it is evident that Naipaul is a great traveler who understands the culture of lounging and its social impacts. The author describes him as, “Naipaul is the definitive modern traveler in part because he is the definitive symbol of modern rootlessness; his singular qualification for his wanderings is not his stamina, nor his bravado, nor his love of exploration…” (Iyer 150). To further solidify his claims, Iyero also reviews Nabovok whom he claims knows very well how to apprehend foreignness. He describes Nabovok’s experience as that of connoisseur’s delight. To him, the historian is a true representation of self-identity. He states that “Nabokov shows us that if nowhere is home, everywhere is. That instead of taking alienation as our natural state, we can feel partially adjusted everywhere” (Iyer 150). There two choices of reference are not by default; the author has considered credible sources that would support his claims.
In summary, the text by Iyer is very influential in the contemporary society where lounging has become a norm for many people. Individuals are currently considering their vacations in different parts of the world with most influx from the West to Africa during the summer season. The author explains that Transit Loungers have great experience in the foreign countries and are able to survive easily due to the available technology such as American Express cards. The target audience of the text is the loungers and the general public who may wish to embark of longing. He highlights the possible detrimental effects of lounging amidst the benefits that one may face as in the case of Naipaul and Nabovok. The author also considers the utilization of various rhetorical techniques to persuade his audience which seem plausible and credible in the context used.
I have appreciated the role of group work in completing classroom tasks. The inquiry essay we have written in project II looks amazing and very comprehensive. I have also learnt a lot from the group. Initially, I assumed that an inquiry essay is written just like a content essay in which one comes up with a thesis statement which must be supported by various evidences. However, after writing up the inquiry essay, I came to understand that this piece requires one to analyze the content of an essay, understand the author and audience, as well as identify the literary devices used to persuade the audience. While drafting the essay for the first time, it was very challenging as I could not easily understand the concepts of form and rhetorical devices. But in the last drafting, everything was clear and as such, easy to write down.
At first, I had thought that our target audience is the general public since every message can be important to all individuals even though this would depend on the context of the information. However, during the group discussions, I came to understand the need of identifying a specific audience who would find the information extremely important. As such, the audience identified in the essay is the Transit Loungers and individuals who may extremely rely on traveling to different locations as their source of joy or livelihood. I would wish that the audience understand the significance of self-identity and affiliation, and how these socialization concepts could be hindered by lounging. I am confident that many loungers are not aware of the potential social risks associated with moving from one place to another. As clearly illustrated by Iyer, amidst the enjoyment and recognition that comes with the activity, one may end up losing identity and self-worthiness. Extremists like Nabovok and the author may end up developing emotional seclusion; they would lack emotional attachment and, unlike others, no one would wish they never left.
I have gained various skills regarding inquiry writing. First, I became aware of the organization of the essay which must include an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. A key unique component of inquiry essay is the author; a writer must be able to get in touch with the objective that the author is trying to achieve, the form of writing, and even the tone used. Inquiry also requires one to be in the place of the audience, and get to acknowledge the intended message as well as the purpose. For the first time I was able to relate to the author and develop emotional attachment; I felt pity in most parts of the essay as I tried to have empathy on the author’s experience. While conducting our group activities, we were first engaged in thinking about the information in the text. We had to understand the message conveyed first, and then consider the motive of the author. We wrote series of drafts which we improved to address all the components of an inquiry essay.
Through the essay, I have gained skills in communicating with my audience. I have always wished to communicate to the public about waste and water management since pollution has become a global issue. After the project, I believe I am in a position to write a comprehensive text which can articulate my key messages to my target audience. I would still wish to make such