Commentary on Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

Essay by wfan99College, UndergraduateA+, December 2005

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"Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open." This quote by Thomas Dewar exemplifies Dave Eggers' autobiographical memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Dave Eggers uses sentence structure, diction, and specific descriptions to illustrate and get his point across to the reader. He opens up to the reader in a way I have never experienced before in my literary encounters. Although he tends to digress and seem paranoid, I feel that this makes him the real writer that literature has been missing. Every one has gone off on tangents in his or her mind about the most absurd things. People tend to be 'paranoid' about many things. Dave Eggers is an ordinary guy who likes to express himself openly in a way that many authors and writers averted from in the past.

Dave Eggers is constantly in the midst of an internal struggle between two different decisions.

For example, Dave pictures his babysitter as having murdered his baby brother Toph (page 126). He rambles for pages talking about all the different scenarios in which his brother could have died at the hands of this 'ferocious monster' named Stephen, a grad student at Berkeley University. "I will come home and the door will be open, wide. The babysitter will be gone and there will be silence. And at once I will know. There will be the smell of everything being perfectly wrong. At the steps up to Toph's room there will be blood." This passage shows his very close connection to and affinity for his baby brother Toph. His sentence structure is important in this memoir. His hyphenation and half written sentences better portray his ambiguity and indecisiveness in thought-making his memoir that much more real. This passage shows his very close connection to and affinity...