Subject-The subject of Dave Barry’s “Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out” is the difference between men and women’s priorities. The contrast between the two sexes is illustrated through Barry’s use of examples. He uses dirt and cleaning to portray what women notice, and he uses sports as an example of what men’s priorities are. He explains how women are sensitive to things like dirt and cleaning, whereas men are sensitive to sports through stories he tells.
Occasion- “Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out” was written during the 1980’s. The essay’s time of creation is exhibited in the introduction to the essay where it is conveyed that this essay is from the collection of essays in the book Dave Barry’s Greatest Hits, written in 1988. The probable place of the essay’s creation is in America-more specifically in Miami, Florida. He started working as a humor columnist for The Miami Herald in 1983 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, thus proving he was writing in 1988 when he wrote Dave Barry’s Greatest Hits in Miami.
The time and place of the essay’s creation influenced the essay through the stories he told and how they related to his life. Barry uses the story of how his wife still notices dirt in the bathroom after he has just cleaned it, and he also uses the story of a dinner he and his wife were invited to on the night of a World Series Game. These stories pertain to the time setting being fairly modern and the location being in America.
Audience- Dave Barry’s specific audience for “Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out” is married couples. The author’s target audience is exhibited by the stories he tells. These stories involve him and his wife and how their differences affect their lives. These stories are attracting couples because these stories are most likely to resemble married couples’ past experiences to some extent.
The author’s general audience for the essay is young Americans. The author’s general audience is expressed through his somewhat adult humor and the way he perceives American men and women in their relationships.
Purpose- Dave Barry’s purpose in “Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out” is to show the differences in the priorities men and women have. The message he wanted to convey to the audience is that both women and men have things that are sensitive about-they just aren’t about the same things. The different priorities men and women have are revealed when he says, “She is there looking at the very walls I just Windexed, and she is seeing dirt!” This shows that women are very sensitive to cleaning, whereas men are clearly not. He then goes on to say, “The opposite side of the dirt coin, of course, is sports. This is an area where men tend to feel very sensitive and women tend to be extremely callous.” This is what men are sensitive about, thus proving that while priorities for the different sexes alter, those sensitivities still exist.
Speaker- Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist, believes that women and men differ in their preferences. This value is illustrated by his use of “coin”, meaning that it’s two-sided, one being men and one being women. They have different preferences, yet are one.
Dave Barry, columnist for the Miami Herald, also believes that women and men should stick to their own “thing”. He uses the example of Pompeii where men didn’t notice things that women did, ending in disaster. He mentions that from then on, men have never done housework because they don’t notice the little details. This proves that certain people are meant for different things and they should stick to what they know.
Dave Barry’s use of phrasing is evident throughout the essay by using the beginning paragraph to talk about the difference of men and women, the next few paragraphs to talk about women’s priority, and the last paragraphs to talk about men’s preferences. It is structured well to allow organization to take place.
Dave Barry’s use of diction is evident throughout the essay through his humor. He uses his humor to keep the essay flowing and to create a light mood. This is seen when he talks about the Windex incident and the World Series Game. He uses italics to emphasize his humor through his sarcasm towards the subject.
Tone-Dave Barry exhibits a humorous and discerning attitude about the differences in priorities between men and women in “Batting Clean-Up and Striking Out”. These attitudes are expressed by amusement and an understanding seen throughout the piece. He uses jokes throughout the essay to keep the mood lively, but also creates a very understanding tone that shows he knows what he is talking about in relationship to the differences between men and women. His tone serves the purpose of keeping the readers interested and to have an understanding of the realization he has come to. When he claims that “…I always get irate letters from women who say they are the heavyweight racquetball champion…and are sensitive to sports to the point where they could crush my skull like a rip grape, but I feel these women are the exception.” Here, he creates humor, but also knows that there always exception. This proves that he is understanding, but can also have fun with it.