The Best American Essays - Study Guide The Attentive Mind: Mail, A Lovely Sort of Lower Purpose, Heaven and Nature Summary & Analysis

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Mail by Anne Fadiman: In this essay, Fadiman reflects on the history of communication, from the Victorian mail system to modern electronic mail. In 19th century England, sending mail was a very expensive business, only made worse by the fact that the recipient and not the sender was forced to pay for it, thus putting the expense out of one's hand. Eventually, the system was completely overhauled and the so-called "penny post" was introduced. The hope was that revenue would increase by reducing the price and thereby increasing the volume handled. In fact, it succeeded, but there was likely a hidden cost: When the recipient was forced to pay for the letter (and often pay dearly) there was added pressure to...

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This section contains 684 words
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Buy The Best American Essays Study Guide
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