Essay on Rhetorical Writing

Submitted By daniiinelson
Words: 1505
Pages: 7

Danielle Nelson
Sara McDonald
English 1302
Rhetorical Writing Sometime in the year 1993 author Sherman Alexie published an autobiography story, about a young child who suffers a brain injury at birth in Phoenix Arizona. The brain injury had caused a lot of suffering to the child, and caused him to have seizures all throughout his life as well. The story titled “The Blood Runs like a River Through My Dreams” was published a few years later. Coincidently this story also stars a rags-to-riches theme about a poor boy on an Indian reservation. I believe that Alexie should be angry about this situation and he explains his point very well. Just starting off right in the first sentence Alexie throws the sentence “born fragile and poor” at the readers. He does this because he knows as a writer that people are going to be more sympathetic and sensitive if they hear a story about someone being poor and fragile, rather than being born rich and strong. He’s trying to get the readers to keep reading. He also talks about how it’s a “rez-to-riches” story, which is like a rags-to-riches, and he does this to keep the readers reading. Because the people he’s targeting with this story wants to see a fairytale ending so that’s what he’s giving them. You can already tell by the tone and sarcasm he talks in that he is very angry about this situation. For example he uses words like “kind of” and “coincidence” to show his sarcasm. He also lets us know that he didn’t write “The Blood Runs like a River Through My Dreams,” but he did write his own book. Not only does he introduce you to the outline of his article but then he lists off all the awards his book had received. He’s doing this to build himself up and to give himself credibility. He needs people to be on his side. Alexie wants the audience to understand where he’s coming from and take it close to home in one of their everyday life situations. Next he gives us his background, and he tries to build up his own character. Because people like someone they can trust. He gives you his sad story of where he grew up, and how poor his family was. He explained how he grew up on an Indian reservation, very poor, and very ill. Then he tells you about the book he wrote, and all the achievements it got. He’s doing this because everyone likes to see the kid grow up into something amazing. Everyone wants to see a happy ending. However Alexie doesn’t stop there. After he’s done giving you his life story and showing how much he’s succeeded since then he hints that someone is stealing his story. He’s doing this because he knows us readers don’t like when someone’s work is stolen. He implies that his work is being stolen at the end of the first paragraph by stating “Of course, I’m biased, because, well, it’s my story. Kind of.” (Alexie 72) By saying that he hints someone has stolen his work and it makes the reader want to continue reading. He makes himself sound like the victim. It matters to the audience because people don’t like to hear about people stealing. He’s hoping to get the audience to give him sympathy. Which he was. He raises attention in the third paragraph finally giving Nasdijj’s name to the readers. He then uses the word ‘claimed’ to make the readers question what’s really going on here. Alexie is hinting that Nasdijj was not in fact born to a Navajo mother and a white father. “Quite the coincidence don’t you think?” Finally he lets the readers know that what they’ve been lead up to thinking this whole time is actually what’s going on. Not only that, but the sarcasm is setting off red flags everywhere to the readers. Some red flags would include not only the sarcasm, but the background history and the details should let the audience know that something’s going on as well. After all this information that he’s been leading us up to him finally gives you the title of the other author’s book, “The Blood Runs like a River Through My Dreams.” Then he proceeds to tell us all the