A Rhetorical Analysis Of John Scalzi's Being Poor

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After reading John Scalzi’s online article, "Being Poor”, I noticed a strong sense of compassion was created within the audience. Copious amounts of comments, in response the Scalzi's article, demonstrated this elicitation of compassion. Through managing to elicit hundreds of emotional responses from his audience, I believe it is important to base my essay on Scalzi’s use of the rhetorical persuasion form, pathos. This article contains numerous examples of pathos. Each of which is skillfully used by the writer to depict vivid images, thus persuading the reader through powerful emotional stimulus. The main argument discussed in John Scalzi’s online article, “Being Poor”, that those who are impecunious endure a constant feeling of despair and…show more content…
In the case of Scalzi’s article, implied meanings provide a glimpse into a harsh reality which is often overlooked by those who have never endured its daily struggles. The author accomplishes this by focusing on numerous examples of various and recursive hardships. Furthermore, these hardships are transformed into incredibly impactful messages through the coupling of pathos and dreary implications. The statement “Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.” (John Scalzi, “Being Poor”) demonstrates this striking effect. Scalzi uses this simple statement to provide a significant contribution to his argument by coupling pathos with an implied meaning. The implication in the sentence referenced above being, that one can only hope for an alleviation of pain as paying for treatment is simply not an option. Scalzi uses this writing technique to persuade the reader to sympathize with his subject. Through this persuasion, Scalzi addresses his main argument as the audience becomes persuaded to place themselves in the subject’s shoes. This method elicits a powerful sympathetic response as the reader can only imagine what the subject has to experience day after day. Scalzi uses this same method in the statement “Being poor is a cough that doesn’t go away” (John Scalzi, “Being Poor”). Focus is once again drawn on the issue of a lack of wealth preventing an individual from seeking physical aid. The author utilizes an implication, that an individual can’t afford the medication to alleviate them of their cough, to establish another grounds for the stimulation of pathos. Establishing these sources of pathos allow Scalzi to contribute to his main argument by providing a dreary view into the various hardships that the impecunious face with each passing
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