Rhetorical Analysis of Non Fiction

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April 22nd, 2013
Rhetorical Analysis

“It’s become a sad rite of passage in many American communities, the services held for teenagers killed in auto accidents before they’ve even scored a tassel to hang from the rearview mirror.” Anna Quindlen wrote the article, “Driving to the Funeral,” in the June 11, 2007 issue of Newsweek to make parents think twice before allowing their 16-year-old drive the car. Anna discusses issue on how too often teens are killed in car accidents, and why something should be done about it. With the use of ethos, pathos, and detail, Anna Quindlen illustrates that teens are too young to take on the responsibility of driving and that the solution to our problem is simple: change the legal driving age to 18. Throughout the article, Quindlen uses ethos to make parents question their decision to allow their 16 year old to drive. She even asks right off the bat, “If someone told you that there was one single behavior that would be most likely to lead to the premature death of your kid, wouldn’t you try to do something about it?” Any parent that values morals who is asked a question like that would obviously say yes, but Quindlen asks that for another reason; she’s making them question whether or not they are doing the right thing. To reinforce the same idea she says that “Any reasonable person would respond that a 13-year-old is too young [to drive]. But statistics suggest that’s true of a 16-year-old as well.” Obviously no parent in their right mind would give their 13-year-old the keys to the cars because it not only puts their child at risk but other people as well. Her effective use of ethos within the article helps her gain favor among her readers regarding her wishes to change the legal driving age.

Pathos is also a strong rhetorical device that Quindlen chooses to use in her article. She addresses why some parents would disagree with her wish to move the legal driving age to 18 because that takes away the convenience that...
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