Columbine High School Rhetorical Analysis

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Columbine High School can forever be associated with the massacre that took place April 20, 1999. Dave Cullen, author of Columbine, captures the heart wrenching and cruel events that unfolded that April through his analysis of the normalities within the day and specific dialogue. Using many rhetorical devices, Cullen develops an agonizing emotion behind the terrible truth; it can happen anywhere. While spreading the terrible truth, he manages to also spread light on the events of April 20 in order to debunk bullying motives and help all people understand the idea of psychopaths. The passage starts at 11:19 A.M., lunch time. Cullen explained, “Rachel Scott and her friend Richard Castaldo were the first down. They had been eating their lunch …show more content…

As Cullen continues throughout the book, he builds on the normal things in Columbine that turned into the massacre. Along with the normalities at Columbine High School, Cullen tries to make sense of each step the gunmen took before and during the killing spree. By analyzing the victims’ stories, and the killers’ journals and videos, Cullen shines light on the massacre. Although it may not bring any relief to victims and their families, Cullen’s team uncovered the psychopaths within Dylan and Eric. The discovery of their psychotic state, brought understanding to a new generation of killers. This discovery also brought light to the bullying aspect. The boys were in fact not motivated to kill due to bullying, but instead motivated by their mental state. Later in the book, Cullen explains, “‘Psychopaths are capable of behavior that normal people find not only horrible but baffling.’”(239) Cullen collected all evidence regarding the massacre and compiled it into the book Columbine to help not only the victims and their families, but also the rest of the world make sense of the massacre that took place on April 20, 1999. Labeling Dylan and Eric as psychopaths may have given some closure to those within Columbine, but it also highlighted the possibilities of the next killers planning the next

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