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Rhetorical Analysis: Growing Up Empty

1822 words - 7 pages

Rhetoric is the art of using language to persuade an audience. Writers and speakers often use rhetoric appeals. Aristotelian Rhetoric appeals are used in arguments to support claims and counter opposing arguments. Rhetoric used four different approaches to capture its audience’s attention: pathos, logos, and ethos. Pathos bases its appeal on provoking strong emotion from an audience. Ethos builds its appeal based on good moral character of the writer or speaker and relies on good sense and good will to influence its audience. Logos persuades its audience through the use of deductive and inductive reasoning. The kiaros approach requires a combination of creating and recognizing the right time and right place for making the argument in the first place. All of these appeals are important tools, and can be used together or apart to persuade an audience.
In her book, titled, Growing Up Empty, award winning public service journalist, speaker and author of eight books—Loretta Shwartz-Nobel brilliantly employs all four of these appeals.. Known primarily for her advocating work, Schwartz-Nobel achieved national acclaim, in 1974, for her published in Philadelphia magazine, in which she brought attention to the hardships of the poor and destitute living in the otherwise typical American city of Philadelphia. The article proved worthy of the 1975 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award “for outstanding coverage of the problems of the disadvantaged"(8-9). In her book, Schwartz-Noble takes her reader on a behind the scenes look at an impoverish America. Her book chronicles true life stories of some of these poverty stricken individuals living among us. It portrays some of the events that led up to forcing one in ten families to depend on food banks and soup kitchens as their only means of feeding their children (15). It exposes the “men who knew about hunger but lied” and those who “learned about hunger but voted for fiscal economy at the expense of the hungry poor” (21). This book was written, according to the author, “for all the hungry children [she] met on [her] journey and all those [she] never met (Schwartz-Nobel).
In her book, Schwartz-Nobel effectively uses logos, ethos, pathos and kiaros to convey her message of hunger and compel the audience to take action against this huge hunger epidemic that she claims is facing America today. Schwartz-Noble manages to successfully deliver this message by brilliantly using all four of these rhetorical appeals.
The appeal to pathos is most probably Schwartz-Nobel’s most effective appeal. Evidence
of this can be seen from the very first page of her book. Here, she begins to tell the story of traveling back to her old neighborhood, only to find it to be “a distinctly poorer one” than it was in her childhood days (1). To recreate the image for her readers, she presents them with a picture of what she compares to be likened to “a third-world country” She explains that “some of the stores had “rusted iron bars across...

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