Rhetorical Strategies In Richard Louv's Last Child In The Woods

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In his passage from “Last Child in the Woods,” Richard Louv uses various rhetorical strategies in order to make his audience more supportive of his argument. The passage discusses the connection, or really the separation, between people and nature. On this subject, Louv argues the necessity for people to redevelop their connection with nature. His use of tone, anecdotes, rhetorical questions, and factual examples all help develop the pathos and logos of his piece. Louv begins the passage with an appeal to logos. In the opening sentence he writes, “Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo are experimenting with a genetic technology through which they can choose the colors that appear on butterfly wings” (lines 1-4). This…show more content…
When discussing the new possibilities for technology, Louv expresses a fairly bitter and sarcastic tone towards technology. This is first evident when he discusses the new belief that nature is “not even worth looking at” (line 19). Again, Louv expresses his disdain when he uses a mocking tone to write, “A friend of mine was shopping for a new luxury car to celebrate her half-century of survival in the material world” (lines 23-25). This idea that the material world is something that one must survive demonstrates his bitter tone towards technology. His tone shifts, however, when he talks about a childhood of viewing nature out of a car window. He employs a reminiscent tone to appeal to the emotions of the readers, making them, too, yearn to relive their childhood days of family car rides. Louv writes, “In our useful boredom, we used our fingers to draw pictures on fogged glass as we watched the telephone poles tick by. We saw birds on the wires and combines in the fields” (lines 62-65). This imagery paints a picture of the nature one sees as a child and helps the reader relive the experience. Louv ends the piece with the statement, “We considered the past and dreamed of the future, and watched it all go by in the blink of an eye” (lines 71-73). This reminiscent tone and appeal to pathos makes the reader sympathetic to his argument that people must redevelop their connection with
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