Rhetoric Analysis of an excerpt from The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Rhetorical devices are used to strengthen writing and add dimension. When used properly, they add layers of complexity to any prose as well as further evidence for an argument. No one understood this better than Upton Sinclair. Four strong rhetoric devices are periodicity, the Rule of Three, metaphor and rhetorical questions. Sinclair masterfully demonstrates these in a speech featured in his novel, The Jungle. Periodicity, also referred to as periodic sentences, is defined as long and frequently involved sentence in which the sense is not completely known until the last word. This is usually an exclamation or climactic sentence. Sinclair used this to gain the attention of the audience by drawing them in to a big finish. The person giving the speech in Sinclair’s novel states, “Months pass, years maybe-and then you come again; and again I am here to plead with you, to know if want and misery have yet done their work with you, if injustice and oppression have yet opened your eyes!” By wording his speech this way, he begins by giving the audience an image of themselves, slowly leading them in until he makes his exclamation and thus making his point. In summation he writes: “The voice or power, wrought out of suffering – of resolution, crushed out of weakness – of joy and courage, born in the bottomless pit of aguish and despair.” Again Sinclair, through the voice of the speaker, builds the audience slowly before making his final declaration. This serves to add power to his phrases and lasting resonance at the end of his speech. Sinclair also uses the power of three in his speech in The Jungle. The speaker states, “Of the man who lies upon a bed of rags, wrestling in his last sickness, and leaving his loved ones to perish!” He is demonstrating the “power of three”, whereby three different yet connected examples are used together to make a point or strengthen an image...
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