A Plea For Love Essay

677 words - 3 pages

Torey Hayden’s novel One Child is a heartwarming personal account of how even the smallest amounts of love can change someone. One Child revolves around a Special Education teacher, Tory Hayden, as well as her class and helpers. The main child that Hayden speaks of is Sheila, who was placed with Hayden after she had lured a young boy into the forest, tied him to a tree, and burned him almost to death. Hayden describes Sheila as having “matted hair, hostile eyes and a very bad smell” upon their first meeting (Hayden 16). Sheila lives in a dilapidated house with her father who abuses, belittles, and isolates her. Her past is maimed by a mother who abandoned her when she was four, leaving her in the care of a neglectful father. These circumstances cause her to lash out at any one she comes into contact with. Hayden provides a seemingly innocuous environment that Sheila flourishes in with the help of the love that her teacher provides. The main idea of Hayden’s novel, presented through her use of rhetorical strategies, is that even by offering comfort to an individual for a short amount of time, that person will forever be changed.
Torey Hayden develops her theme by playing on the emotions of the reader. At first Hayden used anecdotes that describe the horrible acts that Sheila has committed. Viewers feel the negative tone Hayden is portraying due to the article that discusses the young boy being tortured by the six year old girl (Hayden 4). These negative emotions cause the reader to want to change how Sheila is living, perhaps even provide love and care for her. Along with this hope dwelling within Sheila and the audience, is the realization that by spending time with another person will help them not feel isolated and unwanted in society. The words she uses to describe the cynical child are powerful and supportive of her objective to persuade the audience to feel emotions, either positive or negative.
Furthermore, as the reader discovers the...

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