Rhetorical Devices In 'Just Walk On By' By Brent Staples

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Society in today’s world is very alike to society years ago, with different social classes and stereotypes. In “Just walk on by” by Brent staples, a variety of rhetorical devices are used in order to convey the message of how a black man is trying to show society that he is so much more than the color of his skin. The author explains how the character was characterized as violent and dangerous because he was black. Staples continues on a sort of journey with the character to show how he overcomes that stereotype, by whistling classical music to give the idea that he is mature and less threatening. Throughout the piece, Staples uses devices that will help the reader better understand the struggles that the character has to face on a daily basis. Staples uses imagery, so the reader can picture it when reading his work, and to help create a sort of dark and lonely tone. The character uses several personal experiences which use a large amount of imagery. This is better shown when staples writes “ As a softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken- let alone hold it to a person’s throat……”(542), The character feels as though he is being judged for being a certain color when really he is afraid himself of getting hurt; he is also very humble and shy because he is afraid to even harm something that isn’t alive. When being treated as guilty and wrong, shame will follow; the character feels shameful that the lady is afraid of him when he has done nothing wrong. The
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