Within the essay end “Neat People vs. Sloppy People,” Suzanne Britt discusses the differences both in behavior and overall personality of sloppy people and neat people. Although the idea of being sloppy is often utilized in a negative way, and being neat is typically referred to positively, the opposite is true in this essay. In fact, Suzanne Britt favors sloppy people over neat people in her essay and provides a myriad of examples as to why she has formed this opinion.
Britt begins her essay by writing a succinct statement that encompasses the overall difference between sloppy and neat people. She states, “I’ve finally figured out the difference between neat people and sloppy people. Neat people are lazier and meaner than sloppy people”(Britt). She also states that being sloppy is more “moral” than being neat(Britt). The former sentence is essentially her thesis for this essay as the remainder of her essay focuses on examples that support her claim that neat people are mean and lazy, and sloppy people are nice and productive by comparison.
Sloppy people are described by Britt as being “people who can’t bear to part with anything” and “they give loving attention to every detail”(Britt). In the author’s opinion, sloppy people are more sentimental and caring. Perhaps the only thing that Britt states which are even remotely negative against sloppy people is that “sloppy people never get neat”(Britt). However, the author places a caveat on this statement by claiming that they never get neat because everything has meaning, even “newspaper clippings, postcards, locks of hair, and the dried corsage from their senior prom”(Britt).
On the other side of the equation, neat people are described as being “cavalier toward possessions, including family heirlooms”(Britt). She later goes on to say that “neat people will toy with the idea of throwing the children out of the house just to cut down on clutter”(Britt). Therefore, neat people are considered to be heartless and more concerned with the outward appearance of things. Suzanne Britt also discusses her belief that neat people are selfish, inconsiderate, and wasteful. She states, “Neat people..are incredibly wasteful…are no good to borrow from…” and that “they are so insensitive”(Britt).
Overall, Suzanne Britt’s scathing comments against neat people and praise for sloppy people appear to come from a personal place. It seems as though perhaps she is describing herself when she talks about sloppy people, and perhaps an enemy in her life who is neat. Although the article is entitled “Sloppy People vs. Neat People,” over half of the essay is dedicated to neat people, and only a handful of words are dedicated to those who are sloppy. This indicates that Britt has more of an ax to grind with the neat people, and it seems fair to say that the article could actually be called “What I Hate About Neat People.” The reader comes away from the article with the belief that sloppy people are equipped with hearts and feelings, whereas neat people are merely robots. Because of the tone of the essay, it is a safe assumption that the author is utilizing hyperbole for the most part and is meaning the essay to be humorous rather than serious. However, some readers might not be able to grasp the sarcastic nature of the essay which might lead them to believe that the author truly loves sloppy people and completely despises neat people.
Britt, Suzanne. “Neat people vs. sloppy people.” Literary Cavalcade 50.4 (1998): 28. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.