Rhetorical Analysis Of A Life In A New Language

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Learning a new language is difficult and sometimes can cause a mental detachment for a person between the use of his or her mother tongue and his or her second language. Eva Hoffman’s Learning Life in a New Language illustrates her struggles of learning and accepting the use of the English language after her family moves from Poland to Canada. This transition proves to be challenging as she continually makes comparisons between the different languages and feels as though the learning of English with her attachment to Polish creates two different identities within her. In the text, Hoffman makes use of Aristotle’s rhetorical appeals ‘logos’, ‘pathos’ and ‘ethos’ as well as other modes of development to talk about her experiences. The purpose of this research is to analyze and discuss the use of these rhetorical appeals and other modes of development to argue that learning a new language is challenging and can create a struggle with having an identity in a language.
To achieve the goal of this research I will use the dissect and analyze Hoffman’s use of all three appeals and other modes of development. My claims will be
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The beginning of her story forms the starting point of her journey when she arrives from Poland to Vancouver; her first impression of Canada is rather somber. When describing how she feels, Hoffman says, “I look out the window with a heavy heart” (18). This is a claim to the appeal of pathos, as she attempts to evoke an emotion of sympathy from the reader due to her circumstances. Another phrase that brings out the same appeal is when she states the rhetorical question, “where have I been brought to?” (18). Along with this, Hoffman employs the use of description, as she depicts the emotions of confusion and uncertainty that she felt. This ultimately connects to the appeal to pathos, where she describes all the dejected emotions that she
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