Red White and Beer: a Rhetorical Analysis of America's Retail Patriotism

944 words 4 pages
Ross Brigman
English 2001
Sharon Price
Rhetorical Analysis
Red, White, and Beer: A Criticism of America’s ‘Retail Patriotism’ ‘Red, White, and Beer’ is a short two and a half page essay written by Dave Barry. On the surface, this essay seems to be for pure entertainment purposes. With its satirical concepts of imagery, one cannot help but laugh while reading this critique, and think that it is for entertainment only; maybe it is. However, I believe that he sincerely has issues with how America is portrayed in the advertisements created by major companies that target national pride, and love for one’s country in order to make a sell. Dave Barry’s rhetorical strategies of underlying declarative sentence structure, informal writing
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Dave Barry’s intended audience is one of the main reasons this argument is so sound.
An author has an intended audience for multiple reasons; mainly that a narrowed concentration of people makes the argument both more personal, and seemingly more reasonable towards said audience. We can tell that Barry targets a specific audience that enjoys satire, and has had some exposure to ‘patriotic advertisement’ through examples like, “… I’m in favor of the upsurge in retail patriotism, which is lucky for me because the airwaves are saturated with pro-American commercials,” (191). The main reason the intended audience is so important to the vitality of Barry’s criticism of the ‘patriotic advertisements’, is that the audience is called to action
The call to action in a satirical way was put in the last paragraph where Barry gave a hypothetical situation of an American commercial for laxatives, (191). Because of this paragraph, we can infer that there is a call to action, which is: we as a nation should be downright offended by what advertising campaigns are saying about our nation; or about what we allow ourselves to be entertained and sold on. The intended audience would be the ones to actually do something about this though. This essay was overall very powerful in an indirect way as Dave Barry would want it. Even though ‘Red White and Beer’ was very entertaining, the underlying message