Red White and Beer: a Rhetorical Analysis of America's Retail Patriotism

Topics: Writing, Advertising, Patriotism Pages: 3 (933 words) Published: November 7, 2012
Ross Brigman
English 2001
Sharon Price
Rhetorical Analysis
Red, White, and Beer: A Criticism of America’s ‘Retail Patriotism’
‘Red, White, and Beer’ is a short two and a half page essay written by Dave Barry. On the surface, this essay seems to be for pure entertainment purposes. With its satirical concepts of imagery, one cannot help but laugh while reading this critique, and think that it is for entertainment only; maybe it is. However, I believe that he sincerely has issues with how America is portrayed in the advertisements created by major companies that target national pride, and love for one’s country in order to make a sell. Dave Barry’s rhetorical strategies of underlying declarative sentence structure, informal writing style, and intended audience make his sarcastic argument that ‘retail patriotism’ is a mockery of real patriotism a strong criticism against major corporations misleading what it truly means to be American.

Many authors that write rhetorical essays tend to have a common sentence structure throughout their thesis and conclusion. Dave Barry goes back and forth between a declarative, and an underlying declarative sentence structure. This gives him the dual advantage of not only stating actions that occurred, but he is also able to give these statements, and stories the ability to have an underlying tone in regards to how he truly feels about ‘patriotic advertisement’. If Barry had just came out in the first paragraph of his essay with how he did not approve of how advertisers have it wrong with what patriotism actually is, then this would be a very dull essay and not entertaining whatsoever. No one would want to read a author’s criticisms about ‘retail patriotism’, but quite a few more people would read an essay that talks about ‘beer’, and ‘patriotism’. In the first paragraph, he sarcastically states that he gets a warm proud feeling inside when he sees a Chrysler commercial that has the Bruce Springsteen want-to-be singing in the...
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