Rhetorical Analysis Essay
The work that I chose to write about is “The Homeless and Their Children” taken from Jonathan Kozol’s book, “Rachel and Her Children”. This is a story of a woman whom Kozol calls Laura and her four children that lived in a run-down hotel room in 1985.
The intended audience for this piece was pretty much anyone interested in reading this particular book. He wrote it for the general American public.
I believe that Kozol felt bad for the women and their families that had to live in this government sponsored hell-hole. He describes Laura as a “broken stick” and says that Laura, “ is so fragile the I find it hard to start a conversation when we are introduced a few nights later”. Then he later describes her children as “having the washed-out look of the children Walker Evans photographed for Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.” and having “dark and hallowed eyes”.(1)
Kozol also describes the hotel and the rooms that these families were living in. He seems to have a sympathetic tone. He talks about how there is sludge running down the walls, beds with mattresses that did not fit correctly, there was a radiator that spewed out hot water at the kids’ eye level at any time and how this could do damage to the more than twelve hundred children living there. Kozol also brings up the fact that there are guards in the hotel, but they let the drug dealers walk right in like they own the place. Laura states, “I don’t know the reason for the guards. They let the junkies into the hotel. When my mother comes, I have to sign” (Kozol 2).
He brings up the fact that Laura’s children do not get Christmas presents and how this upsets her. Laura states, “Christmas, they don’t get. For my daughter I ask a Cabbage Patch. For my boys I ask for toys. I got them stockings.” (Kozol 3). She feels bad and the fact that Kozol dedicates an entire paragraph to it, tells me that he feels for these kids and their parents.