Terrorism in the Story “An American Child” by Saif Ali

This is a story by Saif Ali detailing the events that transpired after the 2001 terrorist attacks in America. Ali recollects the events from the perspective of the second grader because that was his age in 2001.

The story is both a display of patriotism and criticism of the discriminating actions that transpired after the terrorist attacks. Although the story is told from the point of view of a third grader, its tone signifies that it was written by an adult. This paper is an analysis of “An American Child” by Saif Ali.

The essay’s introduction is weak because it contains various inconsistencies. The first inconsistency is the poorly constructed introductory sentence. The first sentence is a fragment and it requires additional information to make it complete. The sentence would be more appealing to the reader if it reads ‘it was early in the morning and the sun was peering through my half-open blinds’.

The other sentences in the first paragraph have similar sentence-construction issues. The introduction paragraph of the essay should be solid and enticing to welcome the readers to read the rest of the story. However, the introduction of this essay does not employ these features.

Although this is a narrative essay, it still requires smooth transitioning between paragraphs. For example, the first paragraph in the essay ends by describing the author’s anticipation of school life, and then the second paragraph takes the readers back to the pre-school routine. Nevertheless, after the third paragraph, the writer can employ smooth transitions in between paragraphs. Lack of smooth transitions betrays the writer’s skills and undermines the theme of the essay.

The writer degrades this essay by mixing two distinct genres. This essay is primarily supposed to be a narrative essay but on several occasions, the writer extensively uses the descriptive genre. The first and second paragraphs feature descriptive portions. On the other hand, paragraphs four and five solely employ the narrative genre.

Mixing these two genres is confusing for the readers who are at one time reading about the description of a breakfast routine and then the unfolding events of a terrorist attack. Sticking to one genre is more effective than mixing two of them. This approach gives the essay flow and reduces confusion among the readers.

The essay is rich in details, although this advantage is lost through poor sentence structures. The author tends to use long sentences that lack good structures and contain fragments. The long sentences are a chore for the readers. Readers prefer short and well-constructed sentences. The writer should have employed well-constructed sentences as a compliment to the essay’s rich details.

The main theme of this essay is discrimination and terrorism. The essay can highlight these themes, but the writer’s bias is quite evident. Even before the writer hints at discrimination, he embarks on a mission to praise American signature products such as peanut jerry sandwiches and basketball. This form of sycophancy is unnecessary to a person who claims to be a bona fide American citizen.

The writer should have expressed his allegiance to America in a more subtle manner. This would have made the essay’s criticism of discrimination more relevant and effective. Moreover, the writer uses the last lines in the essay to seek sympathy from readers. This technique is mostly reserved for novice-writers because experienced writers rarely resort to such methods.