Dana Gioia's Essay Why Literature Matters

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Knowledge is Power Dana Gioia makes a compelling case in his essay "Why Literature Matters," that society would suffer as a result of the reduction in reading in America. Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts Dana Gioia argues that literature has the power to educate, inform, and inspire, and that the loss of emotion and intellect could have severe consequences for society as a whole. In this essay, I will analyze how Gioia builds his argument through the use of rhetorical devices, statistics, and personal anecdotes Gioia starts his essay by emphasizing the significance of literature in human history. He observes that "literacy is a form of human expression" and that it has been critical to the advancement of civilization. …show more content…

He uses statistics from a 2004 survey by the National Endowment for the Arts to demonstrate that reading in America has declined in recent decades. He notes that "The percentage of adults who read literature has dropped dramatically over the past two decades," and that this decline is particularly directed toward young people . By presenting this data, Gioia demonstrates that the decline of reading is a real and significant issue that must be addressed. To further strengthen his argument, Gioia uses personal anecdotes to illustrate the benefits of reading. He notes that "reading books can be a form of self-discovery," and that literature has the power to "expand our horizons and help us see the world in a new way." He goes on to describe his own experiences with literature, noting how it has helped him better understand himself and others. Gioia makes his argument more relatable and persuasive by sharing personal stories. Gioia implements rhetorical devices throughout his essay to further persuade his audience. He uses repetition to emphasize the importance of literature, noting that it is "one of the most important things we do," and that it is "essential to the health of our civilization." He also uses metaphors to make his argument more vivid and memorable, noting that "a nation without literature is a nation without a

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