Rhetorical Modes

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Fear for the Future When people write they can intentionally or unintentionally use rhetorical modes to communicate their message. Two such essayists who make use of rhetorical modes include Frederick Douglass in his essay “Learning to Read and Write” and E.B. White in his essay “Once More to the Lake”. Douglass describes his struggle as a child slave and how literacy helped him and hurt him on his path to freedom. White reminisces about the past and his trips to the lake while on a trip with his son. While he looks fondly on memories of the past the looming presence of the present and future are very prominent throughout his essay. Their expert use of narration assists the telling of their stories and how they view their past experiences.…show more content…
Their use of compare and contrast lets them effectively explain the difference between their experiences and those around them. Using these modes of rhetoric both writers are able to communicate a common theme of being or fearful of what the future holds for them. The fact that there is a common theme between these two essays shows that messages can transcend time, works of literature and experiences. Narration is most commonly used to tell a story. Both writers use narration to tell their stories and by doing so make them more personal. Even though their stories differ both show a deep connection the writers past and helps the reader how the events shaped their theme. E.B. White focuses heavily on the imagery in his narration of his trip to the lake. He tries to show his readers that he remembers all of the details of how the lake was, “There were cottages sprinkled around the shores, and it was farming country although the shores of the lake were quite heavily wooded” (White 459). White’s recollection of the lake trip shows his nostalgic tone and memories of the body of…show more content…
White does a good job using extended definition to explain the significance of the lake to him. He explains how when he was a child, his father would rent a camp at a lake and take the whole family up for a month. He describes his memories of ringworm and when his “father rolled over in a canoe with all his clothes on” (White 458) as well as the good times they had at the lake. White’s first paragraph is all about the lake and how it is important. He could have said that he missed the lake and decided to go back in one line but he uses a whole paragraph, his first one. He immediately establishes the importance of the lake and how it influenced his decision to return to the lake. White is able to show his connection to his memories and how he misses how things were. He describes how he struggles to relive his memories, “I had trouble making out which was I, the one walking at my side, the one walking in my pants” (White 463). White struggles to live in the present because his attempts to relive the past fail. He struggles to live in the present because he cannot stop it from changing and shows his fear of the future. White realizes that he can no longer be the child. He has the responsibilities of an adult and a father. He becomes aware of his own aging and it frightens him because he has not control of it. It almost seems that White
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