In The Plot Against People, Russell Baker writes about inanimate objects and the three major categories they can be classified in; those that don't work (A), those that break down (B), and those that get lost (C). The way this essay works is that Baker describes various objects with broad comic irony, which make this piece an enjoyable read (where its mock-serious tone is part of what he's making fun of-the human desire to explain all phenomena) Baker attributes inanimate objects a human ambition, with characteristics like ire and defiance saying it is their ultimate goal to defeat and resist mankind. The Plot Against People, is effective by using everyday examples of the things people do but blame inanimate objects for, to make fun of the scientific community's outlook on everything being caused by scientific reasons and fitting neatly into a box. One Baker topic sentence about things that never work begins with, Science is utterly baffled by the entire category (2).
[...] in the eyes of the reader as human antagonists. And with this creation, perhaps another aim is achieved by helping society realize that inanimate objects aren't in fact plotting against man, but it is man himself who fails, not things. Baker's primary purpose is a literary one because of the comic purpose and satirical tone he uses. It is followed closely by a persuasive purpose displaying his intention to convince the audience of his rationality that objects are out to get people. [...]
[...] By placing the word in the verb tense, he is suggesting both action of inanimate objects “resisting and at the same time drawing upon the pretend scientific logic of his established tone. Baker, once again, achieves the comic effect he strives for so well in the clever and humorous way he phrases this essay. Description is another one of Baker's effective modes, by stressing the uniqueness of each category of inanimate objects explored in Plot Against People.” Baker carefully describes three objects, is not uncommon for a pair of pliers to climb all the way from the cellar to the attic in its single-minded determination to raise its owner's blood pressure. [...]
[...] At one point Baker writes of the good qualities of inanimate objects, to counter the unvoiced agreement that they are against Here Baker, in a way concedes to the opposition comedically, pointing out that things aren't as bad as they seem, when using cause and effect about purses and furnaces is stated, “Some persons believe this constitutes evidence that inanimate objects are not entirely hostile to man, and that a negotiated peace is possible. After all, they point out, a furnace could infuriate a man even more thoroughly by getting lost than by breaking down, just as a glove could upset him far more by breaking down than by getting lost” The persuasive aspect of the article is felt here as it is implicated that a “negotiated peace is possible” leading readers to believe they can be more at ease within the cacophony of their lives after accepting the futility of trying to control everything. [...]
[...] Reading Plot Against People” reminds everyone that they can't rely on inanimate objects to function easily, things always conformed people. The literary merit of such a piece lies in efficient and intelligent irony suffused throughout with “tongue-in-cheek playfulness.” The pathetic proof might is used within this article, as the struggle to get through the day without the other shoe dropping, so any reader feels the writer's pain. People's lives are surrounded, quite literally, by inanimate objects, which do have a tendency [...]
using our reader.