76 4. Classification Sample 2
A Bug’s Life
The importance of the human species on this planet varies from person to person. Some people believe we are here to protect the planet and its inhabitants while others feel all other plants and animals are here solely to benefit human beings. Of the billions of humans who live on Planet Earth, there are three essential categories of attitudes toward life.
The first person, when walking down a sidewalk and spotting a bug on the pavement before him, will alter his steps to make sure he squashes the unsuspecting insect. He as no interest in life other than what kind of impact it has on him. The bug’s life is subject to his desire, and he believes the world is better off without such things as nasty, crawly, ugly insects.
My friend, Paul, is a prime example of the “bug squasher.” He takes no interest in the wonders of the natural world and only goes into the woods when he hears about a beer party going on behind the cover of the dark forest. I once saw him swerve his car into the other lane in an attempt to hit a squirrel trying to cross the road. When he sees ads on television asking for help for endangered species, he comes up with the comment, “We’d be better off without those nasty apes,” or something like that.
The next person sees the bug on the sidewalk and adjusts his steps to avoid hurting the helpless creature. The person sees the need for all kinds of life forms. To him, nature represents the dichotomy of plants and animals all dependent upon one another. Even the tiniest of insects plays a role in the world. Every bug is potential nourishment for some other creature, and every bug will struggle till the bitter end to survive.
I have another friend, Tammy, who is the epitome of the “bug saver.” She is involved in several animal-rights organizations and always goes out of her way to protect what she calls “innocent victims.” She does not believe in hunting at all. In fact, last season, she distributed a petition against allowing people to hunt moose in the northern forest. She is also a vegetarian and says that raising animals such as chickens or cows for human consumption is the cruelest activity humans could be involved in.
Finally, the third person walking down the sidewalk sees the bug but doesn’t alter his steps at all. To him, the bug’s life is a matter of fate. In fact, we are all subject to the will of greater powers, and humans only survive better than other animals because that’s the way it is. He doesn’t worry about whether an animal becomes extinct because he knows he probably would never see it in his lifetime anyway. If he ran over a dog, he would stop to see if the animal needed help and would look for the owner, but he wouldn’t feel overly upset about it.
Most people I know are “bug faters.” They really don’t have any connection with nature at all except passing through it in their vehicles. They’re modern creatures, so caught p in their computers and technologically advanced worlds that they don’t see any problems with the loss of environment, and they don’t feel any need for participating in it. I once asked a friend if he wanted to go so fishing with me, and he said, “No, I wouldn’t want to catch a cold going out in the wet, cold boat.” Three days later, I saw him with some friends water skiing.
Sure, people’s perceptions of life are lots more complicated than that, but when it boils down to what humans think about their planet brethren, they’ll either squash the, save them, or…who cares.
This is a more traditional classification essay- it doesn’t use narrative writing but does use an emphatic order, saving the most common type for the last. It also balances general definitions with specific examples. The writer could have combined the two paragraphs about “bug squashers” into one larger paragraph but decided to use shorter paragraphs. That’s a decision left to a writer.