Paret Rhetorical Analysis
In his article, “The Death of Benny Paret”, Norman Mailer sorrowfully retells his first-hand account of the tragic death of the boxer, Benny Paret and the horror that he witnessed that day. Using figurative language such as similes, and diction to enhance the readers’ emotions, the author conveys to the reader a sense of shock, loss, and regret. Mailer retells his heartrending witness of the death of Paret in order to order to convey to his readers of the inhumanity and nobility of death of a championship boxer. Communicating to his audience, Norman Mailer is using a sympathetic and downhearted tone to mention the brave and proud Paret and how his existence could be extinguished so easily and suddenly. To begin, the author’s extensive use of similes regarding both Paret and Griffin produces a well-illustrated picture of what he has witnessed. At the moment of his death, Paret is compared to a sinking ship, “as he passed, so his limbs descended beneath him, and he sank slowly to the floor. He went down more slowly than any fighter had ever gone down, he went down like a large ship, which turns on end and slides second by second into its grave.” This use of imagery allows the reader to conjure up an image of a grand vessel slowing descending underneath water. The image displays that even a strong person such as Paret must eventually meet the inevitable. On the other hand, the author constantly utilizes similes to compare Griffith to a predator attacking its prey; “Griffith was in like a cat ready to rip the life out of a huge boxed rat. He hit him eighteen right hands in a row, an act which took perhaps three or four seconds, Griffith making a pent-up whimpering sound all the while he attacked, the right hand whipping like a piston rod which has broken through the crankcase, or like a baseball bat demolishing a pumpkin.” These similes help the author present Griffith as vicious, showing that the power he used to attack Paret was...
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