Rhetorical Analysis

1021 words - 5 pages

The article “Autism Is a Serious Public Health Crisis” is presented in manner intended to generate a shock reaction in its selective audience. It does this by using scare tactics and repetitious trigger words such as lies, epidemic and crisis. Though this piece is intended to be informative about the autism crisis and the author’s perception of the truth behind its cause, the argument ultimately is one based in ignorance and heavily driven by pathos.
The author of “Autism Is a Serious Public Health Crisis”, Anne Dachel, is among other things a former school teacher and an established advocate for autism awareness. She is also the parent of a child who was diagnosed with autism in the ...view middle of the document...

In a perceived attempt to justify her blaming of the CDC for these increases she states:
“When faced with the skyrocketing increase in autism from one in 10,000 children, to one in every 166, including one in every 80 males, in just twenty years, coupled with the knowledge that this happened at the very same time that the CDC dramatically increased the number of mercury-containing vaccines on the childhood immunization schedule, CDC officials had to be desperate.”(cite)
It is this desperation to cover up their mistake of giving overly high dosages of mercury to children and thereby causing autism, Dachel claims was the reason for “the big lie” to begin. Her argument is boarding on contradictory when she includes mention that the CDC has provided multiple studies and experts on the subject that have found no such connection between vaccinations and autism. Dachel again does not provide any fact based date to support her argument causing this to read more as a correlation of events then as an actual possible causation.
The article continues to become increasingly based in pathos as the author begins to share the diagnosis of her son. At the time the piece was written it had been over ten years since he was first diagnosed at seven years old and she speaks of the challenging years that had followed. Dachel talks about how when her son was diagnosed, they lived in a very small town and that after finding out the autism rate was one in every ten thousand, she doubted the likelihood of ever finding another parent with parents who child was autistic. She presents herself as having been alone and with little to no available information on the topic. This pathos based appeal is likely to be effective in increase the emotional and sympathetic connection between the author and its readers, particularly with those whose have children diagnosed with autism. In the end though, it is an appeal to pity and not an effective support to...

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