Pre AP English II/ 2nd Period
1 May 2015
“Rhetorical Analysis Essay”
Up and coming novelist, Chris Crutcher, in his fictitious young adult novel,
describes the conflict between desiring more time and pursuing death. Using a sarcastic tone,
Crutcher impresses upon readers the idea that it is vital to live every second in life as if it may be your last. By making comparisons the audience can connect to, he engages readers with a somber, yet humorous portrayal of impending death.
Crutcher’s use of flashback informs the reader of the past experiences Ben Wolf dealt with regarding his impending demise. Ben had “never pictured [himself] over twenty; never really thought [he] would be,” This was Ben anticipating and somewhat waiting for death within context (Crutcher 6). He had dreams when he was young that portrayed himself as a “kid in a hospital bed surrounded by doctors, nurses, and parents” (Crutcher 6). This recollection emphasizes that the prognosis from the doctor was more than just a dream he had as a child: it’s now reality.
To help make sense of Marla’s referral to Ben’s smalltown of Trout, Idaho, Crutcher uses allusion. Crutcher introduces Ben’s reluctantcy to Marla by stating that, “you don’t draw
Trout, Idaho duty if you’re Sigmund Freud” (Crutcher 23). The town of Trout, Idaho is depicted as a boring, no fun, ghost town, while Sigmund Freud is a wellknown player in Marla’s field of work. This historical reference creates a tense mood in the dialogue between Ben and his
Doig 2 therapist, who is the first person to really try and convince him to undergo treatment. Ben attributes Marla’s inexperience