Analysis Of The Book ' Tales Of The Trash ' By Peter Hessler Essays

839 Words Sep 20th, 2016 4 Pages
Secrets Exposed
Living in a foreign land can be a challenge, but having a native on one’s side is similar to having a backstage pass to your favorite band’s concert. In the essay “Tales of the Trash,” Peter Hessler, a travel writer, explains how he developed a connection to Egypt through his zabal or garbageman, Sayyid Admed and how his interactions with Sayyid gave him insight into the culture and the way of life of the people as well as a better understanding of the inner workings of the unknown land; gradually unravelling the enigma and developing a connection. Hessler begins his essay with an unusual title, “Tales of the Trash” which sets the wheels in the reader’s mind rolling. This leads to the formulation of two important questions: is the writer being metaphoric and describing the people as scum in their ideals? Or another important point, is he saying that the best way to get to know a people is by rummaging through their trash.
With the first question, the reader makes the tough choice: either to take Hessler’s word as the law or to explore his reasons for the generalization and decide whether his reasons are persuasive. For example in the scene found below, Hessler discusses a point which supports the first theory; that the people are corrupt in their ideals. “For more than two hours, he went from floor to floor, office to office, encountering clerks who spoke in phrases that were code for Pay me a bribe” (Hessler 140). A little background to the scene above:…

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