Plato 's definition of rhetoric is, "the art of ruling the minds of men." (Atlantic Monthly)
All authors aim for this goal; to control how the mind perceives ones writing and to lead the audience to believe in what they have written is true. Skilled writers utilize this rhetoric to fulfill just that; yet the different types of rhetorical devices and combinations of it makes it so different messages use many of the same rhetorical devices. Two novels that will be analyzed to demonstrate this are Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich, which is about the instability of the bulk of unskilled job in different cities across the United States as seen through her experiment of going out and trying it herself. The other, Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search For the American Dream by Adam Shepard, focuses on his own experiences of attempting to discover whether or not the American Dream has faded away throughout the ages. In short, to analyze the rhetorical similarities and difference between Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed and Shepard’s Scratch Beginnings.
The way that Ehrenreich crafted her novel gives it a professional structure, with short burst of informality, commonly used for shock-effect, as seen on page 141; “ Generally acts like ‘a shit‘.” (Nickel and Dimed) Along with this structure is a variety of punctuation that is utilized to keep the point of each sentence clear and concise. From colons, such as “With serving at Jerry’s: ‘Some kid did it once for five days,’ “ (45) to dashes, “where Earl indicates a closed door-- the kitchen, he says--but we can’t go now,” (55) which Ehrenreich utilized to kept a variety of punctuation. All of these sentences, on average, are longer to medium in length; that is unless if she wished to catch the attention of the audience. In that circumstance she used brief sentences, such as “I leave. I don‘t walk out, I just leave.” (48) . This all
Cited: Page Various. Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 11, September, 1858. gutenberg.org. 15, June, 2005. 13. November, 2012. Shepard, Adam. Scratch Beginnings: Me, $ 25, and the Search for the American Dream. New York: HarperCollins, 2008 Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2001