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Isaiah Holloman

10/12/14

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Anna Quindlen expresses in The C Word in the Hallways, her personal feelings about mental
illness in young people and how society should stop dismissing it as a character flaw. Using
argumentative tone to show that society is to blame for lack of proper care and understanding of
todays mental youth, Quindlen poses moving it from the margins of care an into the mainstream
where it belongs, as her solution. Throughout the entire essay, Quindlen uses rhetorical strategies like
imagery and syntax to make the reader feel for her personal view of the topic and her proposed
solution.
Quindlen shows how society dismisses our mental youth as just a character flaw by using
imagery, and allusions to what we hear from the biased view of our society. By Anna stating that adults
view of mental illness is composed of viewpoints like what in the world does a 16-year-old have to have
to be depressed about, shows the reader that a biased view can affect societys opinion on this
problem. With Quindlens use of syntax when talking about the challenges faced when trying to get
help, we are shown that not only does societys view affect our youth seeking help but also problems in
the mental-health system contribute as well. By Quindlen writing about the mental-health system being
marginalized by shame, ignorance, custom, the courts, even by business practice helps the reader
understand what problems are faced when seeking help.
In the sixth paragraph, Quindlen uses tone in a comical way to establish with the reader the
effect of not helping youth with mental illness. Writing that psychological intervention is cheaper than
incarceration, Quindlen makes the reader consider that treatment of our mental youth will be of help.
As a reader, Quindlen convinces us through diction that it is difficult for us to recognize the actual
mental youth in or society. By explaining that parents are afraid, and ashamed, Quindlen targets
adults, parents, and society as a whole, making the reader feel for her view. By Quindlen bringing in our
emotions to the problem, making us feel as partly to blame, we are convinced to consider and concede
her view of the problem.
Throughout the context of the essay, Quindlens use of rhetorical analysis helps the reader
establish a basis of understanding and emotion towards the topic. As readers, we are shown how
mental illness is a problem and how society views it as a character flaw, Quindlen uses diction to make
us susceptible to her viewpoint. With a strong overall tone, Quindlen makes her points stronger,
allowing the reading to be accepting of her proposed solutions/problems.