27 /march 2015
Rhetorical Analysis on “The Clan of One-Breasted Women”
In the essay “The Clan of One-Breasted Women,” Terry Tempest William’s purpose is to reveal her experience with respect to nuclear testing. By using her family history, statistics, personal memory, historical facts, and court cases to elegantly and adequately portray her personal experience in the nightmare of cancer due to above ground nuclear testing in 1957. Ms. Tempest Williams opens the essay with her and her family’s history of suffering with breast cancer. The most notable sentence that stands out and opens up the narration is, “most statistics tell us breast cancer is genetic, hereditary, with rising percentages attached to fatty diets, childlessness…. What they don’t say is living in Utah may be the greatest hazard of all” Here and in the opening of the essay she uses pathos. (9). From that sentence, she is going to be rebutting the stigma behind the cause of breast cancer, at least in her family’s experience. Terry Tempest Williams then dives into her family history where she explains her logic behind the anomaly of breast cancer. In lines 10-31, says she is a self-proclaimed Mormon with roots in Utah. She explains that her family was healthy and didn’t live life with risks that are attached to the cause of breast cancer “--no coffee, no tea, tobacco, or alcohol. …Traditionally, as a group of people, Mormons have a low rate of cancer” (14). Tempest Williams next presents the problem she is trying to convey. She narrates the memory that happened to her and her family in “September 7, 1957” “The bomb, the cloud…We pulled over and suddenly, rising from the desert floor, we saw it clearly, this golden-stemmed cloud, the mushroom…Within a few minutes, a light ash was raining on the car” (44). It all comes together for Terry Tempest Williams at that moment. “It was at that moment I realized the deceit I had been living under....
Cited: Williams, Terry Tempest. "The Clan of the One-Breasted Women” www.onbeing.org. N.d. Web. 26 February 2015.
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