Staple's Essay 'My First Victim Was A Woman'

871 Words4 Pages
Brent Staple created a powerful essay which appeared in Ms magazine in 1986 which pointed out that people are quick to assume another’s character based on race and appearance; furthermore, he was effectively able to get his point across through his style of writing which could throw the readers for a loop with his strong diction, the author’s ability to relate to most of his audience through personal experience, and by motivating the readers using outrage or appealing to their emotions. Staple’s style of writing, especially in the opening, can effectively draw and keep the audience hooked long enough for the readers to comprehend his message. His opening statement: “My first victim was a woman” uses strong diction to establish a dark serious…show more content…
Going back to the anecdotes he used, they serve a very strong purpose in appealing to the audience. Every anecdote he list all depict something unfair happening to him or another person, for example he goes into a jewelry shop and the proprietor brought a dog to intimidate him which creates a sense of outrage and motivation in the audience. In a sense, because he appealed to their anger, he can convince them that his theme is valid and call them to action more effectively. His appeal to emotion occurs through his anecdotes too; furthermore, he said that he had to bury his relatives and friends creating sympathy and pity. This small part was off the topic of his central theme, but it nonetheless lightens the audience to take him easier, indirectly strengthening his message. Diction Also plays an important role in all of this as the use of the word “bury” instead saying he had some relatives die holds more weight as it implies that it was more personal; consequently, this word choice strengthens the emotional appeal as while the audience can sympathize with dealing with a dead relative, some cannot understand the idea of losing many at once let alone bury
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