Dwelling in Possibilities Analysis Essay

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Pages: 5

Rhetorical Analysis Is our youth doomed? Mark Edmundson begs this question in his essay, “Dwelling in Possibilities.” His essay explains how the lives of young people have changed drastically over the years. Edmundson, professor at the University of Virginia, says his students are constantly “going” and that they never stop; they never settle in fear of missing something great. In lieu of this, Edmundson says that they are, “victims of their own hunger for speed” (Edmundson2). He also adds that his students, and young people in general, use today’s technology to be “everywhere at once” (watching a movie, instant messaging, talking on the phone, and glancing at a textbook) and are therefore, “not anywhere in particular” (Edmundson …show more content…
Just like his choice to reference literature and not facts, Edmundson turns to personal experiences and self-observations rather than establishing ethos in a way that most persuaders would. He mentions to the reader that he is “a slow person from the generation of one kind of Coke, three TV stations, one mom and one dad,” and trusts that this establishes proper ethos (Edmundson 11). He tells of personal experiences, such as running into a student on the University of Virginia lawn, to give examples of his ideas to the reader. In the case with the student on the lawn, he says that the student spent his summer doing an internship, traveling to six countries in Europe, visiting family and friends at home, and recording a rock CD. Edmundson, in contrast, had written five drafts of a chapter for his book about Sigmund Freud. Telling of this account allows the reader to actually see the change in youth, upon which is essay is based. The account of the student on the lawn, allows the reader to compare their students today, packing as much into their summer as possible and not allowing time for thought, to his generation, slow moving with a lot of time for self-reflection and