The Fourth State of Matter

Please note before reading that this post was written for a class, and the topic was assigned.

The Fourth State of Matter is an article that appeared in the New Yorker Magazine in January of 2015. This article begins with a lady named Jo Ann who is consumed by her own life’s struggles. Her dogs want to go out a few times a night, there are squirrels in the attic, and her husband has left her. She works at a magazine company where they write about physics. She is consumed by her own life until, one day when she decided to take off of work, there is a shooting. One of the employees has decided to kill some of his colleagues. When she hears the news she is startled and does not believe the news. She becomes very sad when she discovers that her best friends have been killed, but realizes that life must go on. At the end of the article, she has decided that while she will have to deal with the sadness of her passing colleagues, that at this time, it is best for her to simply be still and allow time to help her to heal. To anyone who thinks that this article is about science, it’s not. The reason this article is named what it’s named is because the magazine the writer works at is called ‘The Fourth State of Matter’. The states of matter (liquid, gas, solid, and plasma) are mentioned, but in short, unimportant snip-its. The science portions that are mentioned in the article don’t really have anything to do with the story and are honestly just there for context. I personally think these portions should have been excluded from the passage.
The article uses elementary vocabulary. The structure of the article is good, but is very long.
I personally enjoyed reading this essay, but it seemed kind of strange. It takes a while for the author to get to the action part of the story. At the beginning, it sounds like a story that a third grader would read rather than one which has to do with a shooting. This story is a good read, but turns dark very unexpectedly. I do encourage everyone to read it. It is a long read (23 pages) but it’s easy to get so caught up in the story that you won’t even realize how far you’ve already read.

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