My Room Is a Mess

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“The Inheritance of Tools” by Scott Russell Sanders
Answer the following questions completely; be prepared to discuss your answers in class. 1. Note examples of figurative language in paragraph 1. Explain their effect. 2. Cite two examples of parallel syntax and explain their effect. 3. Consider the speaker’s use of direct quotations from his father. Describe the tone delivered by those quotations. 4. Consider the organization of the essay, noting particularly the sections about the gerbils (paragraphs 1725). How does that section contribute to the overall effect? 5. Read paragraph 20. Explain the purpose of Sanders’s reference to the grand events included there. 6. Explain the rhetorical effect of the allusions that Sanders includes in
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It took the better part of a year for the scar to disappear, and every time I noticed it I thought of my father. The hammer had belonged to him, and to his father before him. The three of us have used it to build houses and barns and chicken coops, to upholster chairs and crack walnuts, to make doll furniture and bookshelves and jewelry boxes. The head is scratched and pockmarked, like an old plowshare that has been working rocky fields, and it gives off the sort of dull sheen you see on fast creek water in the shade. It is a finishing hammer, about the weight of a bread loaf, too light, really, for framing walls, too heavy for cabinet work, with a curved claw for pulling nails, a rounded head for pounding, a fluted neck for looks, and a hickory handle for strength. The present handle is my third one, bought from a lumberyard in Tennessee, down the road from where my brother and I were helping my father build his retirement house. I broke the previous one by trying to pull sixteen-penny nails out of floor joists--a foolish thing to do with a finishing hammer, as my father pointed out. "You ever hear of a crowbar?" he said. No telling how many handles he and my grandfather had gone through before me. My grandfather used to cut down hickory trees on his farm, saw them into slabs, cure the planks in his hayloft, and carve handles with a
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