Emotional Analysis Of Dolly Parton's Coat Of Many Colors

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This paper analyzes the song “Coat of Many Colors” written by and sung by Dolly Parton. Born on January 19, 1946 the fourth child of 12 to a farmer and a stay at home mom. Her family grew up “dirt poor” (Zahn, ?) on a farm and experienced the struggles faced by many during this era. The song was written based on a personal experience from her youth when her mother stitched together a coat for her to wear from pieces of rags they had been given. Parton’s purpose is to get her audience to see that “One is only poor, only if they choose to be” (50-51) and that we all rich if we change the way we look at what makes us rich. In this song she is effective in using authority, goodwill and common ground, several categories of ethos, to evoke a connection with her listeners that may have had a similar experience.
Parton invented or created her authority in her song in her first verse. With this line “Back to the seasons of my youth” (Parton 3) she is telling her audience that this is a song about an event that happened in her youth. Authority the first of the several categories of ethos consists of two types inherent “present in the minds of the audience before the argument
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This is reflected in her song when she sings “Now I know we had no money but I was rich as I could be” (Parton 52-53). Common Ground is defined as “try to claim membership in a certain group they share with an audience” (Heasley et. al 103). In establishing her common ground Parton is informing her audience that even though she had no money she was rich in her opinion because she has something they did not have, she had a coat that was made with love and story of its creation. This is something that is relatable to anyone that may have been ridiculed, teased, laughed at or shamed for wearing something that was not as expensive as someone
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