On the Contrary
Essays by Men and Women
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On The Contrary contains a balance of writings by men and women. The essays are presented in pairs, a man and a woman writing on each topic. This balanced juxtaposition allows students to discuss, think, and write about changing roles and relationships without being forced into either a feminist or traditionalist party line. The essays in each section reverberate suggestively with each other and this effect is reinforced by the discussion questions, writing topics, and introductory material.
An additional table of contents arranges the essays according to rhetorical rubrics.
"Rather than focusing on chimerical 'modes', the selections—as pairs—provide two often startlingly related perspectives. It would be fun to help students bounce Ecclesiastes off Suzanne Britt Jordan, or Goodman off Ciardi, or Steinem off Mano. And the 'bouncing' would not be only conceptual, but rhetorical and stylistic as well. Most everything shows up: the rolling power of the King James, Newsweekese, Morrow Lindbergh's extended metaphor, Mencken's wicked bite. A field day for us who love purpose, audience, and persona. " — Stephen M. North