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Rhetorical Analysis Of Ellen Goodman's The Family That Stretch

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Although perceptions of who can be determined as ‘family’ have been extremely customary in the past, Ellen Goodman utilizes a plethora of rhetorical strategies including perspective, figurative language and Aristotelian Appeals in order to express that straying away from labels and evolving with society over time will allow individuals to step beyond the realms of tradition and embrace the complexities of a more meaningful, extended family.
In Ellen Goodman’s The Family that Stretches (Together), the author argues that what once stereotypically defined ‘family’ can no longer be representative of the greater population. She argues that in the modern day, it is important to understand that purely recognizing who falls under personal ‘family trees’ can be detrimental because a family tree alone is not sufficient in determining family. While Goodman does not fail to include empirical data and statistics to argue her point, the initial
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Through perspective, the author’s argument is additionally strengthened and credible in that she allows for this ten-year-old child to come up with her own sincere conclusion, without interference regarding how families have evolved over time and what can be defined as ‘family.’ It is also important to note the girl’s constant uncertainty of what she should call her relatives. This just comes to highlight that often times, labels can limit individuals from truly opening his/her arms to a greater sense of family, rather than literal family. Nonetheless, the girl concludes that they are all apart
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