Fallacy in Torgovnick's Essay, On Being White, Female, and Born in Bensonhurst

Topics: Critical thinking, New York City, Fallacy Pages: 2 (677 words) Published: July 20, 2012
Essay #1: On Being White, Female, and Born in Bensonhurst

A fallacy is an error of reasoning. These are flawed statements that often sound true. Logical fallacies are often used to strengthen an argument, but if the reader detects them the argument can backfire, and damage the writer’s credibility.

The word “fallacy” may derive from the Latin word fallere meaning, “to deceive, to trip, to lead into error or to trick.” The word may also derive from the Greek phelos, meaning “deceitful.”
The writer Marianna De Marco Torgovnick of On Being White, Female, and Born in Bensonhurst uses several fallacies though out the essay. The first fallacy that the author uses is that of comparing Bensonhurst to Howard Beach when she describes the beating of several black men. She makes this claim without stating the evidence of why she is comparing the two areas. She is making the claim that Blacks were not allowed in Howard Beach as was the case in Bensonhurst.

The author also compares the Jewish, Irish and Italians. The author states that “Jewish men make good husbands” but does not give evidence to why she feels they make good husbands. She also states that the Irish are okay but that they make bad husbands because they drink and gamble. Again she states this without evidence to convince me to her argument.

The author also states that her parents are wasting their money by allowing her to go to college again she makes a statement but does not have the evidence to support her parent’s point of view.
The author continually goes to different situations of when she grew up in Bensonhurst and at times I thought this was confusing. I think that she should have had a strong thesis to support her claim of what it meant to be female, white, and born in Bensonhurst from her point of view rather than the point of view of parents, family members and Bensonhurst neighbors.

The author goes into rules that should be obeyed simply because they are the rules of the...
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