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Stories are powerful because we empathize with the characters we meet in them. These characters reveal something to us about ourselves and encourage us to persevere. In Jonathan Gummel’s Literacy Memoir, “Always Playing Ketchup,” Jonathan depicts himself as a child who struggled with pronunciation. His narrative reveals the emotional pain that he endured as he tried to learn standard pronunciation. The essay analyzes how a children’s story gave Jonathan the courage to persevere. Notice how Jonathan uses what author and writing teacher Tom Romano calls repetend in this essay. A repetend is a repeated word or phrase that represents multiple levels of meaning at the same time that it suggests a significant theme in the essay. What is significant about the repetition of “ketchup” and “catch up” throughout the essay? Why do you suppose the author uses the word “Ketchup” in the essay’s title?
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© 2014 Jonathan Gummel. All rights reserved.
"Always Playing Ketchup,"
The Idea of an Essay: Vol. 1
, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/idea_of_an_essay/vol1/iss1/4