“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This quote by Nelson Mandela signifies the importance of education in ones life. “Coming Into Language” is a brilliantly written autobiography of Jimmy Santiago Baca, written by himself during his time in prison. Irony is one of the most important rhetorical devices skillfully used by Baca to effectively express his hardships and sorrows in his life.
The rhetorical device, Irony, is used by Baca to help achieve his purpose in his novel. Writers normally use irony as a way to enhance their writing, to make the reader think about the text, and to put humor and make the literary piece more interesting to read. One example of the usage of irony by Baca is when he describes himself of having been reduced to a level as to find comfort in reading and writing because he had always thought of it as a waste of time. This example of irony helps to portray the solitude and boredom Baca had faced and how literature helped to overcome his troubles. Baca uses a remorseful tone to help achieve his purpose of conveying his loneliness in a scholarly manner. An example of the usage of this tone is when Baca says, “ I had been steeped in self-loathing and rejected by everyone…god and demons”. Baca attempts to grasp attention through the usage of ethos and pathos by describing the cruel living circumstances and the immoral attitude shown towards him while his time in prison. The appeals create a sense of pity and sympathy towards Baca. The appeal to ethos and pathos helps to convey the message of the importance of literature.