Rhetorical Analysis Of What Is Poverty Jo Goodwin Parker

507 Words3 Pages
In the passage “What is poverty?”, the author Jo Goodwin Parker, describes a variety of things that she considers to portray the poverty in which she lives in. She seems to do this through her use of first-person point of view to deliver a view of poverty created by a focused use of rhetorical questions, metaphors, imagery, and repetition to fill her audience with a sense of empathy towards the poor.

The author’s use of first person point of view creates the effect of knowing exactly what she is feeling. “The baby and I suffered on. I have to decide every day if I can bear to put my cracked hands into the cold water and strong soap.” This shows what she had to endure to try to keep her baby healthy. It appeals to the loving protective side of the reader. It makes them think about what the baby must be going through beacuase of their economic situation. Rhetorical questions are used to directly engage the
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The author wants the reader to continously think about what poverty means to her, such as “Poverty is being tired” in paragraph 3, “Poverty is dirt” in paragraph 4, and “Poverty is looking into a black future.” in paragraph 10. This reminds the audience that not everyone suffers from poverty in the same way. For the author, poverty is having to take care of family when all the odds are against you, and this is what gives the reader a perfect understanding of it. As stated in the passage, “Listen to me. Listen to me without pity. I cannot use your pity.”, the use of repetition is effective in creating empathy towards her situation instead of pity.

Through the use of figurative language like rhetorical questions, metaphors, imagery and repetition, the author is able to convey a vivid sense of what living in poverty is really like. This is intended to make the reader feel empathy towards those who are poor. To make them understand and try to convince the reader to care more about
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