Rhetorical Analysis

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Carmen Mejia RWS 200/Professor Copeland Rhetorical Analysis 25 September 2011 Project One: Rhetorical Analysis Many individuals believe that American life is purposefully programmed by their leaders to be simple and easy, in order to "deprive citizens from having to actually think for themselves and be independent" (154). John Taylor Gatto, an award-winning educator and ardent libertarian, is one of those individuals who argues that “we,” as in Americans, “are a nation of children” (155). Through his usage of rhetorical appeals such as ethos, pathos and logos, Gatto can construct an effective, thorough argument in his essay Against School. Gatto effectively uses personal anecdotes and ethical appeals in order to establish a general validity with his audience. He would also establish his own ethos by including his support for dignified persons that would validate his argument. In the beginning of his article, Gatto immediately establishes his credibility by stating in the first paragraph that he is " an award-winning educator and ardent libertarian…and has taught in New York public schools for more than two decades" (148). By stating his credibility, it would be easier for the audience to trust and believe Gatto's personal opinions about public education - that the lives of American civilians are manipulated by higher authorities in order to make sure that American citizens are dependent to the system and not independent thinkers. In order to further be seen as credible, Gatto uses expertise generalizations and figures that support his overall claim about public education. Gatto would use names such as James Bryant Conant, "the reason for how modern public schools are today," and the opinions of Alexander Inglis that “compulsory schooling was intended to be like the Prussia schooling system: divide children by subject, age, grading, and test scores in order to keep
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