Quindlen Rhetoric

Essay by laserzone5 October 2007

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Charles Kong AP Lang Pd. 1 Anderson

Write for your Life: Rhetoric Analysis

Since Anna Quindlen is a well known columnist and author, readers taking time perusing her article will tend to be more receptive to her position. Her reputation and prior experience establish ethos, as well as her quoting of novelist Don DeLillo. By not mentioning anything else about him, she appears mature and credible. From the onset, she establishes a reference using the movie "Freedom Writers." She continues by giving a description and background of the movie, and uses a combination of narration and description of what Erin Gruwell's students write in marble composition books to lead into her main point: "writing can make pain tolerable, confusion clearer and the self stronger." Instead of just summarizing the movie's plot, Quindlen chooses to use a series of dialogue from students in the movie, which serve to make the characters as real as possible to the reader and to get the reader to experience and understand their situations.

To accomplish this, Quindlen chooses quotes that include possible real-world situations such as "If you pull up my shirtsleeves and look at my arms, you will see black and blue marks." The rest of her argument is organized in a similar manner, with distinct series of before and after situations as well as enhancements from descriptions and what-if situations. By juxtaposing two clashing realities-the hopeless, hardship-filled lives of different people and their lives after writing, with hopes rekindled- the author is able to appeal to pathos by creating an irrefutable process of cause and effect in the reader's mind: by writing, people are able to make sense of themselves and free themselves. Furthermore, by referring to the tragedy of 9/11, Quindlen strengthens her emotional appeal since she knows her audience is...