Rhetorical Analysis Of The Caging Of America

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Min Xiao Dr. Melissa Jacques ENGL 112-101 8 February 2013 Rhetorical Analysis of “The Caging of America” In his article in the New Yorker, Adam Gopnik introduces the current condition of the prison system in America and the increased number of the prison population. He does not simply introduce the cause of mass incarceration, but he also discusses the relationship between the mass incarceration and the crime rate. Through use of foreshadowing, compelling evidence, and an appeal to ethics, Gopnik urges people to come to realize that mass incarceration is an immoral issue that needs to be addressed. As a sophisticated writer, essayist and commentator, Gopnik utilizes a number of sources into…show more content…
By introducing the history of (crime and punishment) “the American zeal for punishment” (2), Gopnik presents two directions which includes Northern explanation and Southern explanation. The assertion of Northern explanation, Gopnik refers to William J. Stuntz’s issue on Bill of Rights which is that the Bill of Right fails to obtain justice. Gopnik points out that Stuntz argues that the Bill of Rights “emphasizes process and procedure rather than principle” (3). That is, he urges people to realize that rather than focus on how to punish people, human rights should be put first. What is more, Gopnik elevates Stuntz’s issue on justice to Charles Dickens’s idea of the inhumanity of American prisons. By emphasizing Dicken’s experience after visiting prison, he reveals the inhumane conditions in prison. Gopnik also brings up the racial issue by introducing the Southern argument. “The system of mass incarceration”, Michelle Alexander states “works to trap African Americans in a virtual cage” (4). Seven times more black people are put into jails compared to white people. Earlier, he pointed out the money that spent on building jail is six times higher than money on education. Gopnik concludes that the mass incarceration benefits some businesses and companies through building more prisons. From Brecht’s literature, people are left in misery due to capitalist’s profit. It helps to reveal that the importance of profits is more valuable than humans. By presenting an immoral aspect of mass incarceration, Gopnik provides an ethical issue to grab readers’
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