A Critic on the limitations of Letter Writting as a form of Rhetoric: Using Gloria Anzaldua's "Speaking in Tongues."

614 WordsOct 23, 20083 Pages
I am reacting to the way Palczewski seamed to emphasis that letter’s, as a form of rhetoric, are best effective when it appeals to Pathos. Palczewski describes how letters can create a sense of intimacy that does not exsists in other rhetorical tools. It is this intimacy, according to Palczewski, that helps move 3rd World Women Writers into action. Palczewski states; “The letter’s address to a particular group creates an immediacy not found in other forms of communication and the form foregrounds an explicit exchange with a reader to whom the writing is directed.” I believe that Palczewski should not over emphasis style and eloquence in letters. Although I do agree with rehtors George Campbell and Augustine that eloquence and style are needed to move masses, I also believe that rhetoric needs to contain equal amounts of facts. I think that if letters are to be seen as rhetoric they should hold the same high standards that define “Good Rhetoric”. What particularly bothered me was that the words Gloria Anzaldua used to stir emotions. I believe she used stereotypes that are normally used by the “privileged” class. This can be understood when examining Anzaldua’s plea to 3rd World Women to write, no matter the circumstance. “Write in the kitchen, lock yourself up in the bathroom. Write on the bus or the welfare line…” To which Palczweski adds, “Women write during the times when they are most women; cleaning, cooking, coping with bodily functions, working to support a family”2 believe it is dangerous to relay on emotion alone when communicating to an audience. It is as dangerous in speeches as it can be in letters. I believe it is dangerous because it hides the truth. It hides it so well that the audience fails to seek the truth. An example of this happening would be John McCain’s Love ad. Style is used to evoke the emotions of admiration and respect. The ad

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