Quiet by Susan Cain

X'zavier McDaniel

About the Author

Susan Cain is the author of Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. She is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard and was an attorney for a while.

Cain's Methods of Data Collection

Cain used a nice mixture of both types of sources in this book. She even said that she had been working on this book officially since 2005 and unofficially for her entire adult life. She has spoken and corresponded with hundreds of people on the topic that this book discusses. She has also ready countless books, magazine articles, blog posts, and even chat room discussion for this topic as well. She also incorporated personal accounts from her own life and experiences into the story. I would say she mainly relied on primary sources, mainly due to the fact that she is an introvert herself and there are some accounts of her own stories in this book.

The Structure of the Book

I really enjoyed the structure of the book because it didn't just jump around from one thing to another. She started out with different examples of some pretty well known or significant figures that were/are introverts. Next it goes on to talk about Dale Carnegie, who was a promoter of the "Extrovert Ideal". After that it talks some about Tony Robbins and his workshops that are supposed to "Unleash the Power Within" or unlock that hidden potential that is innate in pretty much every human being. Now comes the discussion on temperament, which refers to a biological behavior and emotional patterns. Personality, in fact, is basically described as a mix of temperament and experience blended together. Finally, the end of the book is kind of focused on ways to make introverts feel more welcome and blossom more in environments that are primarily suited for the typical extrovert.


S-The Speaker or author is Susan Cain.
O-Cain said she had been working on this book officially since 2005 but unofficially her whole adult life. I guess the occasion would be the fact that introverts aren't being recognized or appreciated enough in today's western world.
A-I feel like the intended audience was that of a wide variety of people. For starters, I feel like it was definitely intended for other people who identify as introverts. This book is a great way to let other people like Cain know that they're not alone and that they are a lot more special than they may realize. However, one could also argue that it was intended for the extroverts (or people that shun introvert tendencies in others) to make them realize that you can be just as successful, if not more successful, being an introvert.
P-I think the purpose of the book is to empower and raise awareness for introversion. She does this pretty successfully through a lot of research and a couple of personal experiences.
S-The subject of this expertly crafted book is pretty much introversion and the benefits that it has and also how under appreciated this trait is in today's society.
T-I felt like the tone was pretty warm and rather friendly. I never felt as if she was being arrogant or condescending and it also wasn't extremely formal.


Page 35 (The last paragraph)
Inside the vast hall, a phalanx of dancers is warming up the crowd to the Billy Idol song "Mony Mony," amplified by a world-class sound system, magnified on giant Megatron screens flanking the stage. They move in sync like backup dancers in Britney Spears video, but are dressed like middle managers. The lead performer is a fortysomething balding fellow wearing a white button-down shirt, conservative tie, rolled-up sleeves, and a great-to-meet-you smile. The message seems to be that we can all learn to be this exuberant when we get to work every morning.
D-I would say for the most part that its mainly Anglo-Saxon. Pretty informal. A little humor infused. No contractions.
I-"a phalanx of dancers" makes me think of a legion of bodies just in the way altogether.
D-The setting seems very high energy and a bit chaotic even?
L-The language is pretty simple and not very hard to follow along. It is all pretty descriptive.
S-Sentences aren't choppy and can be read with a pretty even flow

Page 161
In some ways, extroverts are lucky;buzz has a delightful champagne-bully quality. It fires us up to work and play hard. It gives us the courage to take chances. Buzz also gets us to do things that would otherwise seem too difficult, like giving speeches. Imagine you work hard to prepare a talk on a subject you care about. You get your message across, and when you finish the audience rises to its feet, its clapping sustained and sincere. One person might leave the room feeling, "I'm glad I got my mesage across, but I'm alos happy it's over; now I can get back to the rest of my life."
D-Doesn't really feel formal to me. Little to no contraction usage. Examples were used to get a point across.
I-The scenario depicted with the speech makes the reader engage a bit more.
D-Seems pretty detailed. "champagne-bully quality" or even "its clapping sustained and sincere" are pretty in-depth.
L-The language isn't overly complicated and is relatively straightforward and simple. Yet again pretty descriptive.
S-The sentence kind of gains momentum for me. It starts off slow with statements then it picks up speed when it asks you to imagine a scenario.

Page 237
Consider that the simplest social interaction between two people requires performing an astonishing array of tasks: interpreting what the other person is saying; reading body langauge and facial expressions;smoothly taking turns talking and listening; repsonding to what the other person said; assessing whether you're being understood; determining whether you're well received, and, if not, figuring out how to improve or remove yourself from the situation. Think of what it takes to juggle all this at once! And that's just a one-on-one conversation. Now imagine the multitasking requried in a group setting like a dinner party.
D-Not very formal yet again. Very limited use of contractions. A scenario was set up to capture the reader's attention.
I-Use of the world juggle makes you imagine trying to handle multiple things a once which helps convey the complexity of social interaction.
D-Pretty thorough and descriptive. "smoothly taking turns talking and listening" then it trails off with an open ended question sort of where it says "Now imagine" which leaves it open to the reader's interpretation.
L-No flashy or "fancy" language. All pretty basic and easy to understand.
S- The sentences kind of have a pause in between. They don't really have a fast racing pace to them but there still seems like there's a build up as it continues to list all of the many things you have to do in a one-on-one conversation.

Rhetorical Strategies

One rhetorical strategy used was parenthesis. "Some of our greatest ideas, art, and inventions--from the theory of evolution to van Gogh's sunflowers to the personal computer--came from quiet and cerebral people..." (5) the use of this really helped pack a nice amount of side information into one relatively small paragraph.

One more Rhetorical strategy that she used was the use of questions. Although adding questions can help a piece of literature just as much as it can harm it, when used effectively it can really make the reader engage even more with your story. "To what degree is temperament destiny? (109)

Another strategy that helped was her use of Conduplicatio. "We want the freedom to map our own destinies. We want to preserve the advantageous aspects of our temperaments and improve, or even discard, the ones we dislike..." (114) The continuous repetition of "We want" helped draw a bit more attention to it and the strong conviction that was being conveyed through this particular piece. She's not just say that she wants it for herself. She's saying we as in a whole or a big group of people which really makes a bigger impact on the reader.

Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

Ethos- For me personally, just the fact that in the Author's Note she wrote "In a perfect world, I would have named every one of my sources, mentors, and interviewees." Proves to me that she has definitely done her fair share of research.
Pathos-The emotional part was built when she gave the story of her first "client" who happened to be an introvert, being successful. Then a few pages later we find out that the person she was referring to was actually herself. The fact that she's an introvert, like myself, helps form the emotional connection or empathy.
Logos-Logos is built through the all the studies and research that she was able to implement into her story.

Rhetorical Précis

In Susan Cain’s Investigative Journalism Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (January 24th,2012), she argues that in the culture of the Western world, introversion is not appreciated and that extroversion has too much of an emphasis put on to it which can really make some introverts feel alienated. In each section, Cain makes excellent use of personal accounts and well backed up research to give us a better look and understanding of these so called introverts. The author wants to bring more awareness to the fact that being introverted is nothing to be ashamed of and even mentions that quite a few famous figures from the past were introverted in order to try to get people to see that being introverted is far from undesirable or bad. The audience she wants to connect with would be fellow introverts and people who frown upon introversion in general and try to force people out of it.

Reaction To the Text

The argument is that our Western culture fails to realize and see the potential that people who fall under the category of introvert possess. There is too much of an emphasis on being outgoing and a go-getter (commonly known as an extrovert). Cain does an excellent job at presenting the argument and I don't feel like there were any weaknesses or things that I would have wanted to be changed. She addressed some counter arguments by simply stating the pros and cons of being introverted. I agree with the author's claim mainly because I classify as introverted and some points really struck home with me and allowed to easily relate to them and further immerse myself in this great work. This topic is definitely of value because it applies to a rather large percentage of the population not only in America, but around the world. Introverts can be found in any type of civilization and if this argument is unheard we could risk pushing a unique character trait to extinction. It could also ultimately prevent some individuals from unlocking their hidden potential or even growing as a person and a human being.