Either/Or Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the author's stated intention?

The author's stated intention is to compose a letter to a young man. He chooses the epistolary form because he says he lacks the time for a formal treatise and he wishes to address the young man in an "admonishing and urgent tone."

2. What is significant about the author's reference to the biblical story of King David and the prophet Nathan?

In the bible, the prophet Nathan tells King David a parable. The King understands the parable in general, but fails to appreciate that it applies very directly to him. In EITHER/OR, the author of the letter warns the young man to apply the letter to his own life and not to be like King David.

3. What does the author say could seriously tempt him to write books?

The author writes he could be powerfully tempted to write books if he believed he could save one marriage. The author says he believes marriage to be the most beautiful task given to human beings.

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