My Rhetorical Analysis: "Why Don't We Complain?"

993 words 4 pages
English 1010-03
September 19, 2011
My Rhetorical Analysis: “Why Don’t We Complain?”
Is pleading the 5th really the best policy when confronted with a potentially awkward situation? The reasons why many Americans choose not to take advantage of their freedom of speech still remains a mystery. “Why Don’t We Complain?”, published in the 1960’s by William F. Buckley Jr., an educated editor, writer and television host, is an attempt to persuade his audience that they are reluctant and hesitant about speaking up when faced with circumstances that demand our attention. If we desire an alternative outcome to these situations then we must be the one who stands up for ourselves instead of waiting for someone else to do it. Although Buckley
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After returning to Russia, Khrushchev reported to his people that “he had been met with overwhelming cordiality, except for a few fascists who followed me around with their wretched posters, and should be…horsewhipped” (562). In the evidence, Buckley is exposing the idleness of his audience to express their rights to protest and further persuades an American audience that they did not do their part in fighting for their constitutional rights by protesting against Khrushchev.
The tone that is portrayed in Buckley’s essay is slightly sarcastic, but is also full of frustration. Throughout the essay, he personalizes the argument with an informal, first person narration in order to reach the intended audience. Buckley’s sarcasm is obvious when he states that “we will sit in an oven or endure a racking headache before undertaking a head-on, I’m-here-to-tell-you-complaint” (559). This evidence proves that Buckley is making his point by drawing the reader in with these often humorous and uncomfortable situations and is easy enough for the average, frustrated American to appreciate. This would work to convince an educated American because even though Buckley is being straight forward and sometimes blunt about his opinions, his tone is adding sarcasm and takes the edge off of the persuasion.
Buckley effectively reached an educated American by providing strong evidence and using an appropriate tone. The personal experiences and expert testimony that have been


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