Explaining Rhetorical Strategies from the Krakauer and Sacks Readings

Essay by xhypekillsCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2007

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In Jon Krakauer’s “Selections of Into the Wild” and Oliver Sacks’ “The Mind’s Eye,” the writers research and write about the lives of individuals who seek and experience the world differently from the way many people do and who may even be said to confront a different reality. Krakauer’s argument is one of Chris McCandless’ trying time to “find” himself and during that time he discovers the importance of interdependence. Sacks’ argument is that the mind is a separate entity from the brain.

In “Into the Wild,” Krakauer retraces the journey of Chris McCandless into the Alaskan wilderness and his eventual fate. In “The Mind’s Eye,” Sacks tells of three sight-deprived individuals living with their disabilities. In both works, the writers employ rhetorical strategies in order to describe and explain the way issues of identity are experienced by their research subjects, in other words, the main character. The writers employed these rhetorical strategies in order to make it possible for us to connect not only to new information, but to the people whose perspectives and sense of identity may differ significantly from our own.

In “Into the Wild,” Krakauer employs the rhetorical strategy of characterization. Characterization is the method used by a writer to develop a character. The method includes showing the character's appearance, displaying the character's actions, and revealing the character's thoughts. It is clear that McCandless’ relationship with his parents is not good. When his father offered to buy him a new car he became enraged. He had a car and couldn’t understand why his father would buy him a new one. He had instructed his family that he was not interested in giving or receiving gifts. Chris took the money that his family had left him for college and donated it to Oxfam which gives...