Elwyn Brooks White Essay, Research Paper
Elwyn Brooks White was an American author. He wrote to influence people?s lives. Everyone
who was lucky enough to pick up one of his writings never walked away without benefiting from
it. They gained from his aspects of style, humor and seriousness.
White?s style of writing was unique. Nigel Dennis states that ?he omits needless words
and avoids a succession of loose sentences? (Dennis, 531). This means that White does not use
words that are not needed in a sentence. He also kept his writing strong, so those who read it
could understand it easily. He had a good style format which represented himself. ?White?s
style… developed freely as an expression of himself? (Sampson, 530). Sampson says in this
statement that White?s writing skills got better as he developed more as an author. White wrote
differently from most authors. ?White writes by ear, and writes superlatively well? (Hasley, 528).
White wrote what he was feeling or thinking at that moment, whatever he decided to keep usually
ended up to be an excellent piece of work. Most people who read White?s work benefited from
his unique styles of writing. Other authors tried out White?s techniques and used them in their
Humor was used in many of Whie?s writings. He loved to electrify his readers by
laughter, and ?it was as a humorist that he first attracted much attention? (Sampson, 529). White
?made humor America?s best ambassador? (Dennis, 531). Dennis states that White made humor
one of America?s most popular kinds of writings. White?s writings were different than that of
other authors, ?his humorous ones often have an ironic twist or comment that gives them a
serious tone? (Sampson, 529). This means that most of White?s writings have a top layer of
humor, but deep down they have a serious side. ?Apart from his own unfaltering sophistication,
White as critic of our national life can be seen as a logical descendant of a whole line of nineteenth
century American humorists? (Hasley, 526). Hasley sees White as a descendant of the humorous
writers before White?s own time. Even though most of White?s writings were filled with humor
quite a few of them have a serious side to them, but ?he never lost his humorous touch?
(Sampson, 529). His humor affect many peoples lives. It gave them inspiration and made people
feel special. Humor is what attracts people to his books. People like books that joke about
serious topics, but still get to the point.
Seriousness played an important role in White?s writings. Even though most of White?s
writings were based upon humor, ?His eye and his intelligence see what lies beneath the surface?
(Hasley, 527). White could always build up a serious tone behind all of his humorous writings.
Deep beneath the surface there were always thoughts of seriousness running through the mind of
White. ?Serious themes emerge and humor becomes more and more a means to an end, not an
end in itself? (Sampson, 529). As White develops as an author more serious topics break through
and the humor is saved for a funny ending or is not used at all. When this happens you can really
see White maturing and becoming a better writer. He didn?t just write to be funny, but he wrote
funny to make a point. With this ?White shows that American humorists have accepted their
secondary place in the scale of seriousness for many years? (Dennis, 531). Dennis states that
White knew his writings weren?t the most serious he could make them, but most people pay more
attention to a point with a little humor than one that just states certain facts and is boring. I think
White did this on purpose. He gave the serious point a little humor to catch a readers attention,
but after it was read the serious point was made and the reader understood it. Most people take
these serious points and apply them to their everyday life. They believe in these and pass them
down to their children and their children?s children, making it so White?s seriousness influences
Many people gained from his style, humor and his seriousness. These three things have
influenced peoples lives and helped them throughout their lifetime
Dennis, Nigel. ?White, E(lwyn) B(rooks) 1899,? Contemporary Literary Criticism: Excerpts of
Criticism of the Works or Today?s Novelists, Poets, Playwrights, and Other Creative
Writers. ed., Dedria Bryfonski, Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1979, X, 526-531.
Hasley, Louis. CLC. X.
Sampson, Edward C.. CLC. X.