Rhetorical Analysis Of Scratch Beginnings By Adam Shepard

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In Scratch Beginnings, Adam Shepard, the author, uses his story to teach many lessons. He emphasizes that people need to take responsibility for their lives and that people need to stop blaming others for their lack of success. He effectively portrays and attempts to persuade the audience to follow these lessons through his rhetorical strategies. In this particular passage, he utilizes a rhetorical question, a shift from first to second person, and examples that apply to the majority of his audience. In order to get the audience to believe in his lessons, Shepard addresses the audience with rhetorical questions that make them ponder their future and their work ethic. He brings the audience into the future, sixty years from now, and asks if they would be “proud of those last sixty years” (12) or if they would be mad that they “could have done a little more?” (13). In doing so, Shepard makes the audience examine if they’re going to appreciate their accomplishments. This kind of reflection makes the audience more likely to hold on to Shepard’s lesson because they face negative future consequences. Therefore, the audience will become more self reliant. Shepard aims to impose this form of self reliance on the audience so they will not become lazy or dependent on others. Shepard’s point of view makes a clear shift from first person in…show more content…
The original idea, starting with basically nothing and seeing how successful he can become, stemmed from a book he read criticizing the death of the American dream. Shepard intended to prove this theory wrong. Through his hardships of homelessness, Shepard learns the lesson he teaches in this portion of the text, that society can’t blame others for their lack of success. This lessons extends to his overall purpose, showing that through hard work you can achieve success in America; therefore, he proves the American dream is alive as
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