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Rhetorical Analysis of 102 Minutes Essay

Excerpt: “The towers stood like huge sails at the foot of Manhattan Island, with each face built to absorb a hurricane of 140 miles per hour. The wind load on an ordinary day was thirty times greater than the force of the airplane that would hit it on September 11. The mass of the tower was 1,000 times greater than the jet’s. Given the sheer bulk of the towers, it was not surprising that the building continued to stand after the plane hit.” p. 40, End of first paragraph

Rhetorical Analysis: In 102 Minutes, the authors Dwyer and Flynn signify the irony of the events that took place on September 11th, 2001. Through the two authors’ use of diction and syntax, the World Trade Center is made to look like an almost invincible mass in New York City, though the reader already knows that the Towers fell. Described to be able “to absorb a hurricane of 140 miles per hour,” Dwyer and Flynn instantly set up their social commentary, as all reading the novel already know the tragic irony that what was thought to be indestructible was actually extremely fragile. The image of the Towers “absorbing” a “140 mile per hour hurricane” is vital to understanding how everyone, including the authorities, thought the World Trade Center would be able to handle an attack, no matter how large scale. Furthermore, Dwyer and Flynn use tone to greater help the reader understand why certain precautionary measures may not have been taken long before the attacks that occurred on the fateful day of September 11.


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