Rhetorical Analysis of Split Skins
The essay titled "Split Skins: Female Agency and Bodily Mutilation in The Little Mermaid," was written by Susan White, an English professor whose research is mainly on film criticism. Her essay was originally published in Film Theory Goes to the Movies, an anthology of film criticism in 1993 and again published in the Third Edition of the University Book, an anthology of writings, in 2003. In "Split Skins," White uses rhetorical strategies such as style, diction, and knowledgability to persuade her readers to think about how we should interpret an "authentic woman's story" (White, 316). According to White, movies such as Disney's The Little Mermaid, have placed a stereotype of women that has been weaving itself into the minds of many generations young and old. The style of an essay can help reflect a rhythm or arrangement the direction the author wants its reader to go. White's style is descriptive and has smooth transitions into how each description relates to her point. For example, " In a day and age when high school girls tend to be convinced of their physical inadequacy, are "twice as likely as boys to perceive themselves as fat"(Byrd, A12)
..it is no wonder that a narrative like The Little Mermaid has been widely successful among pre-adolescent girls" (White, 321). Here White smoothly states her point, adds detail, cites a source, and ties in how it is relative to the main point of her essay. From a sentence like this, White's direction, for the audience, is to take into account the idea that girls are easier to convince than boys. Having that in mind, it is easy to see why movies such as The Little Mermaid, appeal so easily to so many young females. It is the non-stop stereotypes brought forth by the media, concerning how females (particularly young females) are "supposed" to look and act like. Along with her smooth transitions, another element of White's style is having the reader think about the issue at hand by...
Cited: White, Susan. "Split Skins: Female Agency and Bodily Mutilation in The Little Mermaid" The University Book Third Edition. Boston: Pearson Custom Publ. 2003, p. 316-327
Byrd, Robert. "High school girls more likely than boys to see themselves as fat, survey finds." Arizona Daily Star. November 1, 1991, p. A12
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