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Analysis of the Rhetorical Strategies in Barbara Kingsolvers’ “High Tide in Tucson”
1 of Barbara Kingsolver’s principal rhetorical methods is her use of philosophical diction. Whilst philosophical diction can add profound concepts to one’s writing, the strategy also creates a great deal of warrants that, if the reader or readers have a conflicting opinion, will only succeed in creating frustration and/or a lack of interest in the argument and ideas recommended by the author. In “High Tide in Tucson,” Kingsolver fails to efficiently use philosophical diction hence finding herself in the rhetorical hole developed by the warrants she forces her audience to accept. She assertively states philosophy as reality: humans are animals “the most shameful tradition of Western Civilization is our need to deny we are animals” (272). She explains how humans have a tendency to generate a lot of wants but have only a few wants. As Kingsolver establishes a lot more and far more warrants, her arguments start to lose meaning. The new concepts produced from the establishment of warrants produce tangents that force the reader to struggle to comprehend the significance of her claim. Her use of philosophical diction, such as the thought of her child absorbing strength and rhythms from the tree below which her umbilical cord was buried years ago, fails to relate to the logical audience. The warrants created from the use of this strategy disconnect the mindset of numerous readers and the mindset of the author due to the lack of factual proof utilised to establish the warrants themselves.
However, the 1st half of the essay establishes a powerful connection via the introduction of Kingsolver’s hermit crab, Buster. Buster was accidentally smuggled from the Bahamas to Arizona in a frequent tourist error: the collection of seashells. Kingsolver describes the peculiar patterns that Buster followed after his illegal international transportation: the hermit crab seemed to comply with some sort of mysterious cycle — transitioning through series of absolute restlessness and depression-like stillness — of which its origin was unknown. Right after some investigation, Kingsolver found that intertidal oysters who have been transplanted from their all-natural habitat will reside according to the higher and low tides of a different point on the globe. Given that they are unable to really feel the highs and lows of their own house, “the oysters [are] undertaking there ideal.” Kingsolver concludes “when Buster is operating about for all he’s worth, I can only presume it is higher tide in Tucson.” Kingsolver connects Buster’s struggle to the typical “North American” act of leaving residence. She describes her transition from Kentucky to Tucson and how “[she] had no earthly notion that [she] was bringing on [her]self a calamity of the magnitude of the one particular that befell poor Buster.” No matter how attached she becomes to her Kentucky house, no matter how a lot of friends and loved ones she discovers, she “never cease[s] to long in [her] bones for what [she] left behind.” She nonetheless wishes she had never ever left property she feels disembodied and wonders if she can ever know who she was and who she could’ve been. This sense of disorienting misplacement has designed an atmosphere in which, like Buster, she must do her ideal to adapt and listen to the secret tides. She learns from the losses she has knowledgeable — a knife to the stomach, a miscarriage, a car accident, an attempt of robbery — in order to develop an atmosphere worth living in. Even though Buster was accidentally transplanted from the Bahamas to Arizona and Kingsolver drove from Kentucky to Tucson, they each have felt the magnitude of this transition and been forced to adapt to their new surroundings. Kingsolver looks back to her ancient animal instincts of survival, loved ones, fundamental cravings to consume and reproduce with hopes of guidance in occasions of loss. The connection that we humans have to animals like Buster the hermit crab grants us the capability to adapt to the challenges life throws in our path.
Overall, Kingsolver’s writing style successfully demonstrates the struggle of leaving home via the establishment of a effective connection between the audience and the hermit crab, Buster. Readers can easily relate to the issues that each Buster and Kingsolver had to face in all through their lives. Even so, her use of philosophical diction is unsuccessful in capturing the audience’s focus. In general a rhetorical essay ought to avoid this type of strategy due to the excessive quantity of warrants it forces upon its readers. “High Tide in Tucson” fails to appropriately use philosophical diction in order to illustrate the significance of the difficult transition of independence and adulthood.
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