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Two Perspectives of Myakka State Park

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The Still Lake at Myakka State Park

As day awakens and the glittering sun sparkles on the glistening lake, I’m embraced by the majesty of the calm waters in front of me. The vivid rays from the sun hit my shoulders and instantly I’m warmed by its brilliant rays. The sturdy welcoming bench I’m rested on is pleasantly toasty, and I’m comfortable to sit back and let nature engulf my senses. I close my eyes as I embrace the warmth and peacefulness of my surroundings.

A soft ripple in the water persuades me to gradually open my eyes to see what caused the gentle splash. A grand, white-feathered bird has positioned itself upon the quiet lake. This charming creature curiously places its long beak into the water, and I’m reminded how simple nature and life can be. The curious creature raises its head, bringing its grand beak up as water drips back into the lake. The snowy figure then positions its wings and lifts its body out of the water rising into the air. As this magnificent bird flies away, it leaves a wavy current in the water that rushes towards the shore to find its stillness once again. After a few moments pass, the water is silent again. I could sit on this bench all day.

Hideous Creature at Myakka State Park

It’s not long before a ghastly, hideous creature appears and casts a dark shadow across the enormous lake. This grim beast, a huge greyish alligator, slinks through the water like a large loitering torpedo slowly making its way to its target. I’m all of a sudden uneasy sitting on this dirty old bench which now feels like a burnt piece of wood coming out of a fire. A gust of air passes me by and the rotting vegetation by the marshy lake smells of sewage. The sun torches down on my pale face, and I can only squint to see the giant dark figure. The creature stalks about the murky lake, lurking to make his move on some unsuspecting prey. I suddenly feel the urge to flee.

Rhetorical Analysis

When choosing a place to spend a great deal of time for this paper, Myakka State Park was the first place that came to mind. Myakka has long been my favorite place in nature to visit. It’s perfect for this situation as it provides both pleasant and unfavorable aspects of nature on virtually every visit.

The first line of my pleasant impression, I wanted to use a show sentence describing in detail that it was a sunny morning next to a peaceful lake. I began with “As day awakens and the glittering sun sparkles on the glistening lake, I’m embraced by the majesty of the calm waters in front of me”. For the negative reflection, I started with “It’s not long before a ghastly, hideous creature appears and casts a dark shadow across the enormous lake”. I wanted to be clear in this show sentence that what I observed next on the lake was less than pleasant and even terrifying to most who aren’t accustomed to seeing alligators.

For word choice, I used different descriptions for each account. In my first pleasant paragraph, I used words like “glistening” and “calm” to describe the lake. In my unpleasant description for the same lake, I described it as “marshy” and “murky”. I also described the bench in my pleasant experience as “welcoming” and “toasty”. In contrast, during my negative paragraph, I describe the bench as “dirty” and “old”.

I chose to omit the stench coming from the lake in the positive description. The smell of rotting vegetation would have created a negative tone so I left it out completely in the pleasant experience. By leaving out this description, it made the lake in the first two paragraphs seem lovely and pristine. In the negative paragraph, I left out how peaceful and quiet it continued to be even after seeing the alligator in the water. By omitting how peaceful it really was at that moment, it made the moment feel more uneasy as I wanted the reader focused on the fear factor of the alligator.

Throughout both descriptions, I used similes and personification. In my pleasant experience, I described the bench as “welcoming”. Benches can’t be welcoming as they can’t greet others. In my undesirable paragraph, I used the sentence “This grim beast, a large greyish alligator, slinks through the water like a large loitering torpedo slowly making its way to its target”. This is a simile using the word “like” to compare the alligator to a torpedo. In reality, a torpedo is fast but by adding the word “loitering”, it slowed the torpedo down to let the reader focus instead on its size and power.

At the conclusion of each description, I used a direct statement of meaning to conclude my feelings about each positive and negative impression. I used “I could sit on this bench all day” at the end of the pleasant experience. I wanted to convey how nice it was to sit and observe nature while feeling the warm sunshine. In the negative paragraph I wrote, “I suddenly feel the urge to flee” to express my wanting to leave the area hastily to retreat from the huge alligator. I wanted to make sure the reader understood that the feelings of fear prompted me to leave the unpleasant experience immediately.

Reflection

The day I concluded writing this assignment, there was an intense thunderstorm that had lasted all day long. When my husband called on his way home, I started to say it was raining and paused for a moment. In that brief second I thought about how I could describe the day in more detail instead of just saying “it was raining”. I’ve learned it’s important to use more descriptive language in both writing and conversation. In writing, using the five rhetorical tools matters if you want your reader to be brought into a story and display to your audience the particular place you’re describing. I’ve noticed that in many of the news stories I read online, they give vivid descriptions describing a place so perfectly sometimes that you can picture being there while you’re reading the story. I’ve learned it’s important to capture a reader’s attention by providing more descriptive words that create mental images of the moment and setting you’re describing.