In each of these essays, the authors talked about problems they had faced, and then how their spiritual life allowed them to grapple with those problems. The problems were all problems of solitude, and the difficulty of being an individual among the masses, and the solutions were all hopeful—if the authors didn’t learn some new nugget of knowledge, then at least they ended the essay with the hope that they could learn something. These characteristics, solitude and wisdom, imbued each of the essays with a hermetic pragmatism, although I think such would be true of any essay by an American young adult. It is an inheritance of Wordsworth and Montaigne more than it is of the Mormon tradition. In writing my essay, I might enjoy breaking from this tradition, though as yet I don’t have a clue how I would do so.
Four of the five essays I read used a linear narrative to tell their stories, usually following the Freitag triangle: exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution. However, “L.A. Lost and Found,” by Elijah Broadbent, used an inventive spin in its composition: his essay was a series of vignettes which illustrated glimpses of Broadbent’s mission. In writing my essay I would like to try something non-linear, perhaps with a reverse or reorganized linearity, to give the essay some gravity and intrigue.