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David and Goliath Rhetorical Analysis

Categories Books And Reading, Narrative Writing, Novels, Rhetoric

Analysis, Pages 7 (1567 words)



Analysis, Pages 7 (1567 words)

David and Goliath’s book, in chapter eight, Gladwell unites his two arguments concerning the “inverted U-curve” with his beliefs on the limits of power. He makes an argument that power is always beneficial, but at some point, it causes more harm than good. He gives an example of the Three Strikes Law in California to make an illustration of how power and punishment could be beneficial but have to a certain standard. In chapter eight of his novel “David and Goliath” recounts his powers of an underdog.

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Gladwell’s purpose in this chapter is to display the hardships of forgiveness. He adopts a narrative tone in order to tell stories from the outside looking in toward his mature audience. Gladwell utilizes a compassionate mood, pathos, and a narrative tone toward his mature audience to justify that forgiveness can be achieved from decisions of love, and when people forgive it will not hurt them anymore.

The method that Gladwell introduced was compassion. Compassion is sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering misfortunes of others with the feeling evoked in the reader through words and descriptions. This can be shown from the text when “her body had been left in a shed a quarter of a mile from the Derksen’s house. Her hands and feet have been tied. She had frozen to death” (251.) This has caused for the readers to feel compassion and sorrow for the Derksen family. Gladwell’s purpose was to make the audience think; despite the death of a daughter and a sister, will the family ever forgive the man who has done this.

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This strategy supports the purpose of how tough it is to forgive. This is a noteworthy section because Gladwell takes his argument about hardship leading to positive outcomes and complicates it by introducing a new idea, which is that believing in something doesn’t make it ethical or right. While it is true that Kimber’s death urges Reynolds to work hard to make society safer, this does not mean that the Three Strikes Law is actually effective. Nonetheless, Reynolds maintains a high level of conviction, one that perhaps makes it difficult for him to recognize the law’s shortcomings. Rather than recognizing that such matters require nuanced approaches, Reynolds commits himself to the idea that misbehavior should always be met with harsh punishment something Gladwell disagrees with because he believes that punishment is not always effective.

Further, he makes an argument that the inverted U curves involve limits, which demonstrate that more is not always better since when extra resources, the most powerful in the society think of their advantage, which makes it even worse. Gladwell uses amplification as a rhetorical device that helps him in the narration of the story.

Amplification is a rhetorical device that is almost the same as parallelism, and it uses repetitions, where the author expands the main statement making it more intense. Through the use of amplification, Gladwell gives intense attention to two arguments, which are the inverted U-curve and the limits of power. The first statement that he makes is that power can be beneficial, but there comes a time when it starts doing more harm than good. To amplify this statement, he gives an example of the three-strikes law from California, which illustrates that power and punishment are always beneficial, but this is only up to a certain point (Thorpe,2017). Arguing that placing many people in prisons leads to collateral damages, which eventually outweigh the benefits. Amplification helps Gladwell takes the simple idea of limits of power that blows it up in becoming something big. It gives the audience and readers additional context enabling them to understand the book’s content quickly.

Later in the text, Gladwell discusses pathos as an appeal to emotion and is a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response. Pathos was displayed in the text when “You may fight with your wife, but your daughter is kind of like the princess she can do no wrong” (234.) “And for that matter, her dad is the guy who can fix anything from a broken tricycle to a broken heart daddy can fix everything, and when this happened to our daughter, it was something I couldn’t fix” (234.) Pathos affects the reader in a state of sorrow that makes the reader want to cry. The purpose of this was for the reader to try and put yourself in Mr. Reynold’s shoes in order to try and understand his pain. This supports the author’s claim of Pathos by touching the heart of the reader.

Furthermore, Gladwell has made visible a narrative tone throughout this chapter. In ways of telling a story without including himself, the tone can be defined as an attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience. The impact of this strategy is to give the audience a true story without showing bias or favor.

Further, Gladwell, through amplification, he illustrates even the consequences of power when it reaches a certain point. For instance, when power in sued in imprisoning parents for a long time, it projects negative effects on their children, and in most cases, these children end up being in jail. For the three-strikes law, it had an impact on the reduction of several crimes, but on the other led to increment in violent crimes (Ariawati,2018). Amplification of the impact of power when it gets to a certain point it starts causing more harm than good. It makes the audience and reader get the intensity of limitation of power and take the issues seriously since he extends the expansion of the idea.

Additionally, using the rhetorical amplification device, Gladwell makes an argument that the inverted U curve is all about limits. These inverted curves aim at illustrating that more is not always better. He states that when extra resources which the powerful perceive of as their big advantages always make things to be worse. Amplification as a rhetorical device which entails repetitions with the writer expanding the original statement of inverted U curves brings out the seriousness and intensity of the statement. Through his expansion, he makes the point, even more, clearer, driving home the idea that inverted U curves have consequences and that much is not always better. To blow the statement up and show how accurate the statement is, he gives an example (Thorpe, 2017). For instance, when a student attains two tardiness they are subjected to detention, but if they continue attaining tardier, then they receive Saturday school. Such a policy is effective since it helps in the motivation of students to be in school on time; however, it also encourages students to speed and be reckless in their driving when going to school. Through this example, Gladwell makes the point clear that much is not always better, which expounds his statement of “inverted U Curves always involve limits.” Hence, using amplification as a rhetorical device, it helped in calling for attentional and expanding of the points for ensuring that the reader realizes the importance and the centrality of the discussion.

Again, Wilma Derksen demonstrates her ability to break from convention by letting go of the kind of anger that most people assume everyone in her position must feel. Of course, she does experience these emotions, but she recognizes how useless they are in her attempt to lead a happy life. In turn, she intuitively grasps the concept of the inverted-U curve, understanding that more is not always better harsher punishments for this man will not change what happened to Candace, nor will Wilma’s fury lead to anything productive. By spotlighting this dynamic, then, Gladwell shows readers that multiple kinds of resilience can emerge from hardship, suggesting that sometimes the most valuable way to respond to adversity is by exhibiting empathy, compassion, and acceptance. Gladwell concludes forgiveness can be achieved from decisions of love and when people forgive it won’t hurt them anymore. This can be proven as Wilma Derksen found the strength to forgive for through the love of a friend which made her realize if she could forgive her for her addictions to sexual Bondage and porn, then she have to forgive the man who killed her daughter. With this forgiveness, it has helped her family to find the strength to save their friendship, their marriage and their sanity

In conclusion, Gladwell, in the book of David and Goliath, uses amplification as a rhetorical device in communicating to the audience and readers. His main arguments are the inverted U- curves and the limitation of power. For the limitation of the power of power, he illustrates that power is beneficial to the society built up to a ascertain point. Through the use of amplification, the author intensifies the idea, making it easier to understand and show how key it is. This is through giving examples to show the real application of their argument in society. Further, the author makes a comparison on different laws as and their consequences making the reader take the issue seriously. On the other hand, there is the inverted U Curve, which has limits. He shows that much does not always end up being better. Through different illustrations happening in the society, the author expounds on the issue making the readers see its importance.

Works Cited

‌ Gladwell, Malcolm. David and Goliath Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. New York, NY Turtleback Books, 2015.

Cite this essay

David and Goliath Rhetorical Analysis. (2020, Aug 31). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/david-and-goliath-rhetorical-analysis-essay

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