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This is an essay with only three paragraphs.The first two paragraphs should be the same construction. They will discuss two branches of a large topic (keyword), respectively. Such as: love (Dedication and selfishness)Their structure should be: 1. Topic sentence. 2. Introduce evidence + contextualize. 3. Evidence (Excerpts from the article.)4. Analysis. 5. Conclusion.In the third paragraph, the two branches are compared or analyzed.The first file is the requirements. The second file is my article. The third and fourth files are the articles I used. The fifth is example.The following are the requirements that the professor requires me to modify.“The key to this assignment is the central idea. If you don’t use a central idea you are just repeating what other people have already pointed out. The goal is to learn how to come up with a NEW insight.You are saying Mr. Sweet is a failure, and Alice Walker is a success. This is true, but it is the obvious reading. Everyone will agree with it. In this story, Walker is trying to challenge people’s understanding of success. Something that may be a failure to you, may be a success to me. If you pay close attention, very little is straight-forward. If you polish the English in the draft that you have and create solid body paragraphs, you can get a B. But to get an A, you need to show how a particular concept is more complicated than it seems.”


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To  Hell  with  Dying  
by  Alice  Walker  
“To  hell  with  dying,”  my  father  would  say.  “These  children  want  Mr.  Sweet!”  
Mr.  Sweet  was  a  diabetic  and  an  alcoholic  and  a  guitar  player  and  lived  down  
the  road  from  us  on  a  neglected  cotton  farm.  My  older  brothers  and  sisters  got  the  
most  benefit  from  Mr.  Sweet,  for  when  they  were  growing  up  he  had  quite  a  few  
years  ahead  of  him  and  so  was  capable  of  being  called  back  from  the  brink  of  death  
any  number  of  times  –  whenever  the  voice  of  my  father  reached  him  as  he  lay  
expiring.  “To  hell  with  dying,  man,”  my  father  would  say,  pushing  the  wife  away  
from  the  bedside  (in  tears  although  she  knew  the  death  was  not  necessarily  the  last  
one  unless  Mr.  Sweet  really  wanted  it  to  be).  “These  children  want  Mr.  Sweet!”  And  
they  did  want  him,  for  at  a  signal  from  Father  they  would  come  crowding  around  the  
bed  and  throw  themselves  on  the  covers,  and  whoever  was  the  smallest  at  the  time  
would  kiss  him  all  over  his  wrinkled  brown  face  and  tickle  him  so  that  he  would  
laugh  all  down  in  his  stomach,  and  his  mustache,  which  was  long  and  sort  of  
straggly,  would  shake  like  Spanish  moss  and  was  also  that  color.  
Mr.  Sweet  had  been  ambitious  as  a  boy,  wanted  to  be  a  doctor  or  lawyer  or  
sailor,  only  to  find  that  black  men  fare  better  if  they  are  not.  Since  he  could  become  
none  of  these  things  he  turned  to  fishing  as  his  only  earnest  career  and  playing  the  
guitar  as  his  only  claim  to  doing  anything  extraordinarily  well.  His  son,  the  only  one  
that  he  and  his  wife,  Miss  Mary,  had,  was  shiftless  as  the  day  is  long  and  spent  
money  as  if  he  were  trying  to  see  the  bottom  of  the  mint,  which  Mr.  Sweet  would  tell  
him  was  the  clean  brown  palm  of  his  hand.  Miss  Mary  loved  her  “baby,”  however,  
and  worked  hard  to  get  im  the  “li’l  necessaries”  of  life,  which  turned  out  mostly  to  be  
Mr.  Sweet  was  a  tall,  thinnish  man  with  thick  kinky  hair  going  dead  white.  He  
was  dark  brown,  his  eyes  were  squinty  and  sort  of  bluish,  and  he  chewed  Brown  
Mule  tobacco.  He  was  constantly  on  the  verge  of  being  blind  drunk,  for  he  brewed  
his  own  liquor  and  was  not  in  the  least  a  stingy  sort  of  man,  and  was  always  very  
melancholy  and  sad,  though  frequently  when  he  was  “feelin’  good”  he’d  dance  
around  the  yard  with  us,  usually  keeling  over  just  as  my  mother  came  to  see  what  
the  commotion  was.  
Toward  all  of  us  children  he  was  very  kind,  and  had  the  grace  to  be  shy  with  
us,  which  is  unusual  in  grown-­‐ups.  He  had  great  respect  for  my  mother  for  she  never  
held  his  drunkenness  against  him  and  would  let  us  play  with  him  even  when  he  was  
about  to  fall  in  the  fireplace  from  drink.  Although  Mr.  Sweet  would  sometimes  lose  
complete  or  nearly  complete  control  of  his  head  and  neck  so  that  he  would  loll  in  his  
chair,  his  mind  remained  strangely  acute  and  his  speech  not  too  affected.  His  ability  
to  be  drunk  and  sober  at  the  same  time  made  his  an  ideal  playmate,  for  he  was  as  
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weak  as  we  were  and  we  could  usually  best  him  in  wrestling,  all  the  while  keeping  a  
fairly  coherent  conversation  going.  
We  never  felt  anything  of  Mr.  Sweet’s  age  when  we  played  with  him.  We  
loved  his  wrinkles  and  would  draw  some  on  our  brows  to  be  like  him,  and  his  white  
hair  was  my  special  treasure  and  he  knew  it  and  would  never  come  to  visit  us  just  
after  he  had  had  his  hair  cut  off  at  the  barbershop.  Once  he  came  to  our  house  for  
something,  probably  to  see  my  father  about  fertilizer  for  his  crops  because,  although  
he  never  paid  the  slightest  attention  to  his  crops,  he  liked  to  know  what  things  
would  be  best  to  use  on  them  if  he  ever  did.  Anyhow,  he  had  not  come  with  his  hair  
since  he  had  just  had  it  shaved  off  at  the  barbershop.  He  wore  a  huge  straw  hat  to  
keep  off  the  sun  and  also  to  keep  his  head  away  from  me.  But  as  soon  as  I  saw  him  I  
ran  up  and  demanded  that  he  take  me  up  and  kiss  me  with  his  funny  beard  which  
smelled  so  strongly  of  tobacco.  Looking  forward  to  burying  my  small  fingers  into  
woolly  hair  I  threw  away  his  hat  only  to  find  he  had  done  something  to  his  hair,  that  
it  was  no  longer  there!  I  let  out  a  squall  which  made  my  mother  think  that  Mr.  Sweet  
had  finally  dropped  me  in  the  well  or  something  and  from  that  day  on  I’ve  been  
wary  of  men  in  hats.  However,  not  long  after,  Mr.  Sweet  showed  up  with  his  hair  
grown  out  and  just  as  white  an  kinky  and  impenetrable  as  it  ever  was.  
Mr.  Sweet  used  to  call  me  his  princess,  and  I  believed  it.  He  made  me  feel  
pretty  at  five  and  six,  and  simply  outrageously  devastating  at  the  blazing  age  of  eight  
and  a  half.  When  he  came  to  our  house  with  his  guitar  the  whole  family  would  stop  
whatever  they  were  doing  to  sit  around  him  and  listen  to  him  play.  He  liked  to  play  
“Sweet  Georgia  Brown,”  and  all  sorts  of  sweet,  sad,  wonderful  songs,  which  he  
sometimes  made  up.  It  was  from  one  of  these  songs  that  I  heard  that  he  had  had  to  
marry  Miss  Mary  when  he  had  in  fact  loved  somebody  else  (now  living  in  Chi-­‐ca-­‐go,  
or  De-­‐story,  Michigan).  He  was  not  sure  that  Joe  Lee,  her  “baby,”  was  also  his  baby.  
Sometimes  he  would  cry  and  that  was  an  indication  that  he  was  about  to  die  again.  
And  so  we  would  all  get  prepared,  for  we  were  sure  to  be  called  upon.  
         I  was  seven  the  first  time  I  remember  actually  participating  in  one  of  Mr.  Sweet’s  
“revivals”  –  my  parents  told  me  I  had  participated  before,  I  had  been  the  one  chosen  
to  kiss  him  and  tickle  him  long  before  I  knew  the  rite  of  Mr.  Sweet’s  rehabilitation.  
He  had  come  to  our  house,  it  was  a  few  years  after  his  wife’s  death  and  he  was  very  
sad,  and  also,  typically,  very  drunk.  He  sat  on  the  floor  next  to  me  and  my  older  
brother,  the  rest  of  the  children  were  grown  up  and  lived  elsewhere,  and  he  began  
to  play  his  guitar  and  cry.  I  held  his  woolly  head  in  my  arms  and  wished  I  could  have  
been  old  enough  to  have  been  the  woman  he  loved  so  much  and  that  I  had  not  been  
lost  years  and  years  ago.  
         When  he  was  leaving,  my  mother  said  to  us  that  we’d  better  sleep  light  that  night  
for  we’d  probably  have  to  go  over  to  Mr.  Sweet’s  before  daylight.  And  we  did.  For  
soon  after  we  had  gone  to  bed  one  of  the  neighbors  knocked  on  our  door  and  called  
my  father  and  said  that  Mr.  Sweet  was  sinking  fast  and  if  he  wanted  to  get  in  a  word  
before  the  crossover  he’d  better  shake  a  leg  and  get  over  to  Mr.  Sweet’s  house.  All  
the  neighbors  knew  to  come  to  our  house  if  something  was  wrong  with  Mr.  Sweet,  
but  they  did  not  know  how  we  always  managed  to  make  him  well,  or  at  least  stop  
him  from  dying,  when  he  was  so  often  near  death.  As  soon  as  we  heard  the  cry  we  
got  up,  my  brother  and  I  and  my  mother  and  father,  and  put  on  our  clothes.  We  
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hurried  out  of  the  house  and  down  the  road  for  we  were  always  afraid  that  we  might  
someday  be  too  late,  and  Mr.  Sweet  would  get  tired  of  dallying.  
When  we  got  to  the  house,  a  very  poor  shack  really,  we  found  the  front  room  
full  of  neighbors  and  relatives  and  someone  met  us  at  the  door  and  said  it  was  all  
very  sad  that  old  Mr.  Sweet  Little  (for  Little  was  his  family  name,  although  we  
mostly  ignored  it)  was  about  to  kick  the  bucket.  My  parents  were  advised  not  to  take  
my  brother  and  me  into  the  “death  room,”  seeing  we  were  so  young  and  all,  but  we  
were  so  much  more  accustomed  to  the  death  room  than  he  that  we  ignored  him  and  
dashed  in  without  giving  his  warning  a  second  thought.  I  was  almost  in  tears,  for  
these  deaths  upset  me  fearfully,  and  the  thought  of  how  much  depended  on  me  and  
my  brother  (who  was  such  a  ham  most  of  the  time)  made  me  very  nervous.  
The  doctor  was  bending  over  the  bed  and  turned  back  to  tell  us  for  at  leas  the  
tenth  time  in  the  history  of  my  family,  that,  alas,  old  Mr.  Sweet  Little  was  dying  and  
that  children  had  best  not  see  the  face  of  implacable  death  (I  didn’t  know  what  
“implacable”  was,  but  whatever  it  was,  Mr.  Sweet  was  not!).  My  father  pushed  his  
rather  abruptly  out  of  the  way  saying,  as  he  always  did  and  very  loudly  for  he  was  
saying  it  to  Mr.  Sweet,  
         “To  hell  with  dying,  man,  these  children  want  Mr.  Sweet”  –  which  was  my  cue  to  
throw  myself  upon  the  bed  and  kiss  Mr.  Sweet  all  around  the  whiskers  and  under  
the  eyes  and  around  the  collar  of  his  nightshirt  where  he  smelled  so  strongly  of  all  
sorts  of  things,  mostly  liniment.  I  was  very  good  at  bringing  him  around,  for  as  soon  
as  I  saw  that  he  was  struggling  to  open  his  eyes  I  knew  he  was  going  to  be  all  right,  
and  so  could  finish  my  revival  sure  of  success.  As  soon  as  his  eyes  were  open  he  
would  begin  to  smile  and  that  way  I  knew  that  I  had  surely  won.  Once,  though,  I  got  
a  tremendous  scare,  for  he  could  not  open  his  eyes  and  later  I  learned  that  he  had  
had  a  stroke  and  that  one  side  of  his  face  was  stiff  and  hard  to  get  into  motion.  When  
he  began  to  smile  I  could  tickle  him  in  earnest  because  I  was  sure  that  nothing  
would  get  in  the  way  of  his  laughter,  although  once  he  began  to  cough  so  hard  that  
he  almost  threw  me  off  his  stomach,  but  that  was  when  I  was  very  small,  little  more  
than  a  baby,  and  my  bushy  hair  had  gotten  in  his  nose.  
When  we  were  sure  he  would  listen  to  us  we  would  ask  him  why  he  was  in  
bed  and  when  he  was  coming  to  see  us  again  and  could  we  play  his  guitar,  which  
more  than  likely  would  be  leaning  against  the  bed.  His  eyes  would  get  all  misty  and  
he  would  sometimes  cry  out  loud,  but  we  never  let  it  embarrass  us,  for  he  knew  that  
we  loved  him  and  that  we  sometimes  cried  too  for  no  reason.  My  parents  would  
leave  the  room  to  just  the  three  of  us;  Mr.  Sweet,  by  that  time,  would  be  propped  up  
in  bed  with  a  number  of  pillows  behind  his  head  and  with  me  sitting  and  lying  on  his  
shoulder  and  along  his  chest.  
Even  when  he  had  trouble  breathing  he  would  not  ask  me  to  get  down.  
Looking  into  my  eyes  he  would  shake  his  white  head  and  run  his  scratchy  old  finger  
all  around  my  hairline,  which  was  rather  low  down,  nearly  to  my  brows,  and  made  
some  people  say  I  looked  like  a  baby  monkey.  
My  brother  was  very  generous  in  all  this,  he  let  me  do  all  the  revivaling  –  he  
had  done  it  for  years  before  I  was  born  and  so  he  was  glad  to  be  able  to  pass  it  on  to  
someone  new.  What  he  would  do  while  I  talked  to  Mr.  Sweet  was  pretend  to  play  the  
guitar,  in  fact  he  pretended  that  he  was  a  young  version  of  Mr.  Sweet,  and  it  always  
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made  Mr.  Sweet  glad  to  think  that  someone  wanted  to  be  like  him  –  of  course,  we  did  
not  know  this  then,  we  played  the  thing  by  ear,  and  whatever  we  played  he  seemed  
to  like  what  we  did.  We  were  desperately  afraid  that  he  was  just  going  to  take  off  
one  day  and  leave  us.  
It  did  not  occur  to  us  that  we  were  doing  anything  special;  we  had  not  
learned  that  death  was  final  when  it  did  come.  We  thought  nothing  of  triumphing  
over  it  so  many  times,  and  in  fact  became  a  trifle  contemptuous  of  people  who  let  
themselves  be  carried  away.  It  did  not  occur  to  us  that  if  our  father  had  been  dying  
we  could  not  have  stopped  it,  that  Mr.  Sweet  was  the  only  person  over  whom  we  had  
When  Mr.  Sweet  was  in  his  eighties  I  was  studying  in  the  university  many  
miles  from  home.  I  saw  him  whenever …
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