Maureen waki Masila
Professor Kiran Toor,
5th JULY 2017.
STUDENTS APPEAL FOR FINANCIAL AID
In the essay “Students and Money”, the student whose essay caught my eye on his family struggle going through a tough economic time, was Andy Duehren. He successfully convinces me of his family struggle because it invokes emotions of empathy on his father’s illness and the economic and emotional state the illness has caused the family. He starts the essay with a suspenseful hook, which is the first introduction the story and captures my attention. Deurhen makes use of three rhetoric devices to make an appeal for financial assistance and three signposts, which are Imagery, epanalepsis and metaphor. I will expound on these rhetorical devices and signposts in my essay.
Deurhen uses the rhetorical device of imagery to vividly describe the story, from his childhood to the moment he is hiking the Acadia National Park with his father. Imagery is a rhetorical device used in figurative language to represent objects, actions and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses. Duehren makes use of words to create a mental picture of the literature. An example of the imagery used in his article is when he is reminiscing on his childhood. He is vividly describing the escapades he has with his father. “Then, he took me hiking, camping and skiing. His patient guidance and care on the trail stood in stark contrast to my frustrated, bumbling childhood clumsiness. He would stop, listen and encourage me onward. With him, I was comfortable and secure. He could do no wrong…” (Deuhren 5). This imagery shows us how much his father is loving and caring in his childhood. Also, that, before the illness he is dedicated to his son, who adores and admires him so much. This imagery also appeals to my empathy. It draws a nostalgic feeling for his childhood, and as we know our childhood’s emotional, social and physical development has a direct effect overall on the adult we become. His father is a dedicated parent who if not for the illness would still take care of his family. Another example of an imagery used by the author, is when he is describing his father getting linguine instead of rigatoni for dinner, forgetting his friends name and at family dinner he sits largely silent until interrupted with a non-sequitur or unrelated question (Deuhren 5). This scenarios in the article paint us a mental image of his father’s absent mindedness. The author engages the reader here by showing how intense his father’s illness is, and by this imagery I can tell that his father is not able to take care of the family, not only physically but also mentally. This imagery invokes pity in me and I cannot help but sympathize with both Deurhen and his father. By referring to those quotes I conclude that Deurhen father is the breadwinner of the family before he loses his job, and the job is very important to him so can cater to his family. The family is going through a financial strain to take care of his health and sustain themselves without his financial help.
Epanalepsis is a rhetorical Device employed by Deurhen in the story, it is found in the repetition of words and terms. Deurhen uses it to capture my attention and create an emphasis. Epanalepsis is a figure of speech defined by the repetition of the initial word of a clause or sentence at the end of that same clause or sentence the beginning and the end are the two positions of stronger emphasis in a sentence; so, by having the same phrase in both places, the author calls special attention to it. An example of repletion in the article is when he describes the guilt he is going through “I felt a twinge of guilt. Guilt that I had fancied myself superior. Guilt that I had ever bought into facile standards of manhood” (Deurhen 5). The repetition of the word guilt shows the emotion he is going through, he is feeling guilty because he is not being understanding towards his father’s illness and because he is more critical and attentive towards his father’s flaws and shortcomings. In this quote, I also derive that he feels guilty for not thinking his father is strong enough to be a man. He also feels guilty for the false standard he has to what a man should be. Duerhen is emphasizing repetition on the term “my dad.” (Duerhen 4-5), this term is shows relationship he has with his father, who is a great influence in his life. They have great childhood moments together, and his father’s illness is affecting him greatly. More so, at the current stage of his life he is in dire need to define what it means to be a man. The term has also been repeated to show how his fathers who is the head of the family is in a critical condition, which has rendered him unable to take care of Duerhen and his family. “never dealing with switchbacks or setbacks, never losing your footing or your way (Duerhen5). Duerhen thinks being a man means to never deal with the challenges life is presenting to him. In this moment, he comes to a new realization of what it means to be a man and it is to be human as well. Another quote from Duerhen is when he says “that I would never make myself vulnerable like he did, that I would never wallow in past regrets or failures. I would be assertive I told myself. I would be a man.” In this quote, he is emphasizing on what he should do to be a man and that means not having to be perhaps like his father. He is naïve here because he doesn’t understand that although his father has been greatly affected by his job, it is human to be overwhelmed by life and its challenges. He is also struggling within himself to achieve perfection as a man. This quote has given me an insight on his emotions and how much he is suffering within himself. As I was reading through, the use of repetition raises an inquisitive nature and curiosity. I am more curious to find out what unfolds next and if he finds the meaning of being a man, and if he becomes more understanding towards his father.
Deurhen uses a metaphor in his essay, to compare his definition of being a man to what his father is going through. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them. “I promised myself with all my naïve bravado that I would not make myself vulnerable like he did, that I would never wallow in past regrets or failures. I would be assertive, I told myself. I would be a man.” (Deurhen 5). He admits that is was naïve and clearly has not learned much in life when he promises himself not to be his father because he is afraid of failing as a man. He also concludes that “for me, the transition to manhood was not an external one: fortunately, there was no rite of passage or singular circumstance that forced me to become a man. Rather, sitting there against a cliff with my father, I wondered if maybe adulthood simply meant looking beyond oneself, to the other, without any pretense or pomp. Maybe my father, with his unpretentious generosity and willingness to get back up and continue the trek, is the best example of a man I have” (Deurhen 5). He is comparing the willingness of his father to finish the trek to the best example of being a man. He knows that his father is not in the best of his state physically compared to his childhood days when his father would lead the way for him carefully. But despite all that he is willing to finish the trek. In this moment, Deurhen comes to realize perhaps being a man means being willingly moving on in life no matter how hard it hits you. The metaphors used in the essay by Deurhen helps me to draw a comparison between him and his father. Through this I can tell how much their relationship is being strained, and that Deurhen is emotionally devastated that he might fail as a man.
Deurhen starts his essay with a suspenseful hook, and he succeeds to capture my attention to continue reading his essay. Also using other rhetorical devices, Deurhen has effectively persuades and convinces me the current situation the family is in. It indeed must be a financial burden as well as emotionally straining. I love how he weaves the metaphor of being a man throughout the piece and the way he ends the essay in suspense, “how about we get that water, “I said, reaching back into the pack.” (5) I am left in suspense, I would like to know more about his father and the trek they are on. Furthermore, he utilizes imagery, repetition and metaphors to show an emphasis and his inspiration to being a man. All these draw out the details that his family is indeed going through a tough time. I am indeed persuaded and I agree that Duerhen needs financial aid for his education.
Students and Money, in Their Own Words
Four essays written as part of the college-application process reveal students and their families going through tough economic times — and emerging stronger. May 9, 2014