Yeager - 4/10/2008 Everett Sheen 1 In an excerpt from "The...

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5/8/2009 Everett Sheen 1 In an excerpt from “The Right Stuff”, “ Yeager ”, Tom Wolfe creates a narrator who idolizes the pilot Chuck Yeager in order to portray him as the typical American hero. Wolfe has his narrator start of by talking about the drawl of a pilot’s voice. He goes into extensive detail about the origin and significance of this particular way of talking. TW does this to immediately make the impact of Chuck Yeager known to his readers. In hopes of re emphasizing to us how special Chuck really was, TW presents us with a recount of his wartime antics, including exact dates and statistics. Along with a physical description of Chuck Yeager’s impact on the aviation world, TW uses very elaborate descriptions of the places, people, and events where the actual flight test took place. Wolfe does this in order to establish the credibility of his narrator, hoping that we will believe TW was right alongside Chuck Yeager when his famous flight took place. For Tom Wolfe to get his readers to believe Chuck Yeager was the quote un quote “American Hero”, he had to create a narrator that was both engaging and knowledgeable in the aspects of Yeager’s accomplishment. In this aspect I feel Tom Wolfe succeeded as portraying Chuck Yeager as the great American hero. TW makes the assumption that the majorities of his readers have flown and have heard the voice of a pilot over the intercom. He talks about a hypothetical situation in which a pilot is experiencing problems with his aircraft but his voice does not give away any hints of concern. The pilot talks about an emergency light in the cock pit as that “little ol’ red light”(p.399) and says that he “don’t believe that little ol’ red light knows what it’s talkin’ about”(p.399). To give extra effect to this calm southern drawl of a voice, TW uses sarcasm in parenthesis after the pilot is done talking, “…what we call
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5/8/2009 Everett Sheen 2 ‘assumin’ the position…another faint chuckle ( We do this so often, and it’s so much fun, we even have a funny little name for it )…”(p.399). This is in an attempt to show that the pilot is exerting supreme calm and confidence in a stressful situation. TW is also hoping that we will recognize this voice and the calm that it has brought many airline passengers
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course ENGL 101 taught by Professor Bizzell during the Spring '08 term at Holy Cross (MA).

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Yeager - 4/10/2008 Everett Sheen 1 In an excerpt from "The...

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