• Birkerts' "Brown Loafers"/Rector's "Handmade Shoes"

    Pages: 3

    A 3 page essay that compares and contrasts Sven Birkerts' short essay "Brown Loafers" with Liam Rector's poem "Handmade Shoes, " pointing out that they make similar points and convey a similar message similar. No additional sources cited

    File: KL9_khbirkrect.doc

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    Sample Text:
    both works, the writers express their feelings about wearing shoes that once belonged to a deceased and beloved friend. Rector and Birkerts indicate that wearing the shoes of their friend  helps them with the tasks of grief, which are relating to and remembering the deceased friend, and coping with a world that does not have him in it. However, they  differ in that actually wearing the shoes benefits Rector, while simply remembering his friend by seeing the shoes is important to Birkerts Birkerts relates more detail about the death of  his friend, as he indicates that his friends obsession with clothes was both a reaction to reaching middle age and feeling the decline of youth and vigor, and then later,  a reaction to his declining health due to heart problems and cancer (Birkerts 92). Although Birkerts allowed his friend the pleasure of showing him his latest purchases and admired the  cloth and stitching of finely made shirts, he also expresses a poignant sense of regret at considering it all to be a game. This contrasts with what Rector relates  about his friends death and his reaction to it. Rector simply says "that boy paid/a price for living/the way he lived/expensive/life,/expensive shoes" (lines 27-32). When Birkerts friends feet became  too swollen to wear an expensive pair of Italian loafers, he presents them to Birkerts, who, initially, wears them, as they looked good, so much so that even Birkerts children  notice (Birkerts 93). However, after a few hours wear, the shoes made his feet hurt, which he ignored at first, but this eventually caused him to place the shoes in  his closet. Interestingly, Birkerts son, Liam, "namesake of my friend," wore them till he outgrew them (Birkerts 93). Rector also refers to a deceased friend by that name who 

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