"Neat People vs Sloppy People" and "Batting Clean-up and Striking Out" Analysis Essay

In the essays, Neat People vs. Sloppy People by Suzanne Britt, and Batting Clean-up and Striking Out by Dave Barry, both authors focus on different perspectives of dealing with a mess. In particular, Britt is more concerned with comparing people in their views on neatness and sloppiness, whereas Barry pays attention to the way dirt is perceived by males and females. Additionally, the similarity of both essays lies in highlighting the problem of mess and dirt, as well as how it perceived by people. However, there are much more differences in terms of topics of discussion, presentation of examples, structure and topics. In particular, the authors choose different angles while representing people, particularly when it comes to gender differentiation. There is also a different extent to which both of them refer their personal experience. Finally, the examples also vary in terms of the author's reference to details. With regards to these elements, it should be stressed that Britt's essay seems to be more logical and understandable as compared to Barry, in terms of discussion of topics, illustration of examples and structure.

Both essays discuss the topic of dirt, but from different perspectives. To be more exact, Britt focuses on people's lifestyles and character traits while discussing the difference between neat and sloppy people. Interestingly, she seems to criticize neat people, because they are more concerned with themselves rather than with more important things, like goals in life, self-development, ambitions, and quest for new opportunities. In contrast, she encourages sloppy people who are more ambitious, because of their extreme interest in details and their aspiration, to achieve new goals and conquer new horizons. In this respect, Britt writes, "Sloppy people carry in their mind's eye a heavenly vision, a precise plan, that is so stupendous, so perfect, it can't be achieved in this world or the next" (220). Although this statement is a humorous analysis of people, the author makes a positive contribution to explaining why some people fail to be neat. In contrast, Barry makes a statement only at the beginning of the paper concerning the differences between men and women in terms of their attitude to dirt and mess. In particular, he notes, "the primary difference between men and women is that women can see extremely small quantities of dirt" (Barry 203). In fact, both essays are written in a humorous and ironic way, although they represent different perspectives of the topic. Additionally, the topic representation of dirt primarily focuses on the way people consider mess, but to a different extent. For instance, Britt focuses on the mess as a character trait, whereas Barry is more concerned with gender differentiation. Therefore, Britt's essay seems to be clearer and more credible as compared to the ideas presented in Barry's work. In fact, both authors strive to pay attention to the ways people with different characters can be analyzed. In fact, even people's attitude to mess and dirt can provide a psychological and gender-based analysis. Indeed, in certain cases, women seem to be neater than men, and therefore, the examples are often relevant to the point. Additionally, people's character and actions are often appropriate to provide an image of a person who has a certain attitude to dirt.

In terms of examples illustration, Britt seems to be less inventive, because all of the author's examples do not refer to real-to-life situations. On the contrary, they only provide a logical chain of justified statements. For instance, when it comes to the analysis of character traits, Britt discusses the main peculiarities of their lifestyles. For instance, when she describes neat people, she refers to their behavior, attitude to other people, and to life opportunities in general. Sloppy people are also described in this manner. So, the description looks like a psychological and behavioral analysis. Although the author sometimes refers to the examples from life, like mentioning the names of newspapers, the overall description does not have anything common with experience and concrete examples. Indeed, Britt introduces a great number of examples to explain that neat people are lazy and mean. For instance, she focuses on birthday cards, postcards from Europe, letters and charitable contributions. When it comes to Barry's examples, the audience can notice illustrations and representation of the general thesis statement at the beginning of the essay. In particular, illustrations refer to the author's biographical descriptions and experience taken from life. For instance, Barry describes their encounter with his wife's friend Maddy, "We sat around living room and Maddy tried to stimulate a conversation, but we males could not focus our attention on the various suggested topics because we could fell the World Series television and radio broadcast rays" (204). Although the example is a remote explanation of the differences in behavior and perception, the author fails to develop a general statement about the differences between males and females, focusing more on actions, deeds, and reactions. On the one hand, this representation could contribute to a better understanding of the perceptions, but it is not supported by the corresponding conclusion that will allow the audience to understand the point. Therefore, Britt's essay is still better than Barry's in terms of examples analysis.

The structure of the essay also differs in terms of the author's style in topic development. It should be mentioned that both authors start with the difference analysis for the audience to understand how two different people differ in terms of their outlook on dirt. In particular, Britt starts with a general, but clear differentiation between neat and sloppy people and introduces two major points concerning the discrepancies in behavior and character. Further comparisons are represented step by step, which implies that the author provides an explanation of a particular type in a separate paragraph. For instance, he starts with the analysis of neat people in the first part of the essay and then slowly moves to the analysis of sloppy people. It should be stressed that neither of the comparisons interfere with each other, which provides a clear understanding and allows the audience to make the corresponding deductions and conclusions. In contrast, Barry pays attention representing and describing experience; moreover, all of the examples are associated with the author's life. In other words, the author is more comfortable with representing his vision on his relatives and friends in order to make more generalized conclusions. Although the essay has a humorous nature, Barry often use the word "we" to emphasize the reference to his life, whereas Britt veils the story, although she implicitly assigns herself to a sloppy kind of people. Therefore, Britt is still the leader in a comparative analysis, because his work is structured in a more efficient and understandable way as compared to a floppy and ambiguous representation in Barry's essay.


In conclusion, both essays have managed to uncover the topic in terms of the people's relation to dirt, neatness or mess. In particular, Britt is more concerned with the splitting people into neat and sloppy individuals, which also characterize them in other spheres of life, particularly when it comes to goals accomplishment. In contrast, Barry focuses on gender differentiation when he reveals the topic of dirt and the perception of men and women. In fact, Barry is more concerned with the role that dirt plays in relationships between men and women. In this respect, Britt focuses on individuals in an isolated context, whereas Barry attains importance to the way this topic is represented in the context of human relationships. One way or another, Britt's essay is more structured and complete in comparison to Barry's in terms topic representation, examples, and organization. Although Barry focuses on dirt and mess, as well as how it is perceived by males and females, Britt's representation is clearer and more credible. This is of particular concern to managing the topic of mess while describing character traits. Britt has managed to describe behavior and attitude in more details as compared to Barry. Further, Britt resorts to multiple examples while describing people, whereas Barry is less concerned with making conclusions from the examples he introduces. Finally, Britt provides a clear structure in which the statement is represented at the beginning, whereas other paragraphs provide clear information on two types of people. In contrast, Barry makes it difficult for the audience to understand the apparent difference between males and females in regard to their attitude to dirt. Besides the essay does not have a logical conclusion. Overall, Britt's essay provides a deeper insight into how the essay should be constructed to reach the target audience, whereas Barry's work is less focused on the audience; rather, it is just a mere representation of the author's subjective opinion. It should also be stressed that both essays provide a biographical sketch, but to a different extent. In particular, Britt remotely refers to her personal background, whereas Barry discusses his biography in more detail.

Works Cited

  1. Barry, Dave. Batting Clean-up and Striking Out. n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.
  2. Britt, Suzanne. Neat People vs. Sloppy People. n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.