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Barbara Ascher's Essay 'On Compassion'

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In the essay, “On Compassion”, writer Barbara Lazear Ascher used resources style and rhetoric to convey her attitude such as the use of questions, ethos, pathos and logos, figurative language, imagery, and tone. This way, Ascher’s writing was well organized and well put together meanwhile giving the readers a chance to analyze and comprehend the text and understand Ascher’s views. Ascher begins her essay in Upper East Side, Manhattan, New York; a place known to be where the wealth lives and idea of compassion falls. Yet as a typical New Yorker (Barbara Ascher), random acts of compassion can be seen but are not enough given awareness. This is where Ascher’s thesis falls in. Ascher believed that compassion is something humans are not born…show more content…
“Was it fear or compassion that motivated the gift?”(Pg. 47) Ascher wonders why the mother gave the homeless man a dollar even if he did not ask for it. She also wonders why the French waitress gave the homeless man a coffee and a paper bag of food. “…Twice I have wondered, what compels this woman to feed this man? Pity? Care? Compassion? Or does she simply want to rid her shop of his troublesome presence?” (Pg. 47) The purpose of rhetorical question is to leave the audience wondering and to realize the author’s message without saying it directly. Ascher wanted her readers to understand about her point of compassion and so adding rhetorical questions to her essay, will lead her readers into analyze and understand her points. In conclusion, using figurative language, ethos, pathos, logos, imagery, question and tone impose Ascher attitude toward her essay “On Compassion.” It allows Ascher to express her philosophy about compassion and how the idea of it should be taught. It also allow for readers to debate whenever Ascher was true about the teaching of compassion instead of being a character
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