Questions on Rhetoric and Style
Answer the following questions as they pertain to Rodriguez’s “Aria”. This is a lengthy piece – I expect your responses to match the significance of the text. 1. How do the first four paragraphs appeal to ethos?
2. Rodriguez’s essay is both memoir and argument. What is the author’s argument? 3. Much of Rodriguez’s essay is spent comparing the Spanish his parents spoke at home to the English they spoke outside it, “the language of their Mexican past” to “the English of public society” (par. 9). What is the point of including this material? How do these comparisons support his argument? 4. Where in the essay does Rodriguez present his most straightforward argument? Is it effective? Would it have been more effective if it had been placed near the beginning? 5. Describe the tone of paragraph 5 where Rodriguez first raises the issue of bilingual education. 6. Why does Rodriguez emphasize the sound of language? Is this an appeal to logos, pathos, or both? 7. According to the author, what impact did the Rodriguez children’s use of English have on relationships within the family? 8. Although the entire essay is not strictly chronological, Rodriguez does structure if with signals to chronology. Where are they and why are they appropriate and effective? 9. How would you describe Rodriguez's attitude toward his parents? Does it change from one point to another? Identify specific passages. 10. Rodriguez uses very little Spanish in this essay. Why does he choose to use it when he does? 11. How has Rodriguez divided the essay? What is the function of each of the four sections, and how do they work sequentially? 12. Who do you think is the intended audience for this essay? Cite passages to support your viewpoint. 13. What is the tone in the final paragraphs? Is it different from the tone in the rest of the essay? What would have been the effect of eliminating these last paragraphs? 14. What is an...
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