Rhetorical Analysis Of Just Walk On By

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Pages: 4

Utilizing rhetoric like pathos and ethos, Brent Staples’ “Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space” provides a clear message, black men are always stereotyped into criminals rather than having their own individual identities and personalities, to his overall audience.

Brent Staples within “Just Walk On By” uses the rhetorical device of ethos to not only present his message but to also strengthen it. Staples began with “My first victim…” which in the beginning may have made the reader skeptical as to what they are about read. Although, as they read they catch wind as to why the author began with that phrase. Staples aims to show how black men are perceived in society. With starting off with this line he shows
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Brent Staples’ use of imagery strengthens his point by getting the readers to understand and feel the emotions he is feeling. Staples’ first use of imagery is used in the first paragraph when he recollects the memory of women quickly leaving and avoiding his presence. He then uses it when he describes himself as a “softy” who can barely “...take a knife to a raw chicken - let alone a person’s throat…”. By using this imagery together Staples takes to his stand to show the readers how confused he felt when someone ran from him when he meant threat to them at all. The author then explains as to why he walks alone in the dark with his sense of imagery. He expresses how he is a “avid night walker” for the amount of people gone, leaving the streets to be empty. Enjoying quiet, and peacefulness during the night when during the day is quite rowdy and busy. His use of pathos through imagery gives the audience he is reaching a new perspective to see how and why Staples’ message is so strong. Brent Staples used this form of imagery and description of himself to show how easily black men can become a casualty to discrimination. He aims to open the eyes of the readers and get them to acknowledge the kind of world everyone is living in. He aims to get the public to understand how they as a society are shaping the people view black