"The Brooklyn Reader," explain how they use descriptive techniques to portray Brooklyn. I compared "Southeast of the Island: Travel Notes" and "Sunday Dinner in Brooklyn."

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In James Agee's "Southeast of the Island: Travel Notes" and Anatole Broyard's "Sunday Dinner in Brooklyn," each author uses vivid imagery to portray Brooklyn. The writers discuss three points in each piece - their view of the city itself, family life in the borough, and their overall feeling of Brooklyn.

First, the writers similarly illustrate their perspectives on the city in descriptive prose. On one hand, Broyard depicts the borough as "inviting as a view of a squalid village would seem to a princess imprisoned in an ivory tower." On the other hand, Agee explains that you only have to cross a bridge to know it: "Behind you the whole of living is drawn up straining into verticals, tightened and badgered in nearly every face of man and child and building."

Next, the authors express how family life in Brooklyn typically lacks stability. Agee speaks of a place in the city where unsuccessful marriages are dealt with: "There is a special bank to which husbands come one day to deposit, estranged wives the next to be fertilized by this genteel equivalent of alimony.

It seems significant of Brooklyn that it is probably the only city that has such a bank." Furthermore, Broyard refers to his own family, exemplifying their lack of solidity; over the years it seems as though the special bond they shared deteriorated: "When - and how - had our oneness become three? ... What alchemy isolated my substance beyond their - and my - understanding?" In addition, he addresses his mother's smile and how the vibrant nature of it seemed to fade away: "My mother was smiling, and as I watched her over a forkful of mashed potatoes, I realized that she was still pretty. I knew that smile from way back, I remembered how...