The Strategies of Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals, Everything is Illuminated, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a man of many skills. Over the years he has written many books and articles. Although he has written many things he always manages to have certain trademarked rhetorical moves that he uses. For instance, in many of his writings he uses imagery, metaphors, and lastly he adds pathos. These specific rhetorical devices are all things that he repeats because they work for him. Throughout this essay I will tell how he uses these strategies and how they work for him. Foer uses imagery throughout his pieces to help you get a better understanding of what he’s saying and to help you picture what is being said. His first use of imagery is used in the book Eating Animals when it says “At first the situation doesn’t look too bad. It’s crowded, but they seem happy enough. (And human babies are kept in crowded indoor nurseries, right?) And they’re cute. The exhilaration of seeing what I came to see, and confronting all of these baby animals, has me feeling pretty good” (Foer 89). The reason he used this is to help readers see that the chickens were crowded in a room but it’s no different than where babies are held which is in a crowded nursery. Also in Eating Animals he presents another example of imagery when he says “Step your mind into a crowded elevator, an elevator so crowded you cannot turn around without bumping into (and aggravating) your neighbor. The elevator is so crowded you are often held aloft. This is kind of a blessing, as the slanted floor is made of wire, which cuts into your feet” (Foer 47). This example really works for Foer because he tells you to picture it and then gives you a situation where you would be able to picture it perfectly and physically imagine yourself there. This strategy helps the reader more fully understand what the author is trying to describe. It makes the reader actually imagine what it is like and care more about the situation. Anyone can hear that something is terrible, but no one really cares until they experience it for themselves. Foer also represents imagery in an article he writes entitled Speechless which is about how his son’s vocabulary isn’t advanced enough to fully understand what he is experiencing or is being told. In the article he says “There was a period, about a year ago, when every few nights my wife and I would be awakened by the sound of little steps in the darkness. Then our son’s quick breathing in our room, and finally his trembling voice from the foot of the bed: I had a nightmare” (Foer, Speechless). This form of imagery is to show the reader how distinct the sound was so you can actually picture the child walking through the hallway into the room. This works for Foer by being able to share a story that many adults can relate to because many children have nightmares, so he really connects with his readers using this imagery. Imagery is used very well in Foer’s work but he does a good job with adding many metaphors. Foer’s use of metaphors is spread throughout his writing and made reading them much more enjoyable. In the book Eating Animals he uses an example which says "We could hear the bullet we'd dodged whistle past me” (Foer 52). This metaphor is used to emphasize the importance and severity of the situation. It gives the reader a better feeling of just how much the situation meant to the author. By using the term "bullet," Foer makes his story that much more dramatic and emotional. This particular metaphor works in Foer’s book because he is telling how serious the situation could have been, but by dodging the bullet he is saying things are good but could have been far worse. Also in an article by Foer titled How To Not Be Alone In The 21st Century, Foer reminds us to pay attention to people in our interconnected world. Too often, we forget to do this. He uses an...
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