The Shallows Rhetorical Analysis

1304 words 6 pages
The Shallows Rhetorical Analysis

In the book “The Shallows”, Nicholas Carr develops his argument just as an architect would construct a building. The foundation is laid then in tedious and eloquent manner, he begins an argument that defines the book. Shedding light upon the dangers our society may encounter through the internet, Carr uses personal anecdotes, parallels, ethic and reason based arguments, and disguises himself as an authoritative figure to execute a view changing book.

Exerting personal anecdotes on the way the internet has changed him; Carr begins his book in a subtle manner. He begins describing one of his first dilemma’s, “I had become trapped, not unhappily, in the “upgrade cycle” I retired the aging Plus in 1994,
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All these changes in the form of the content also change the way we use, experience, and even understand the content.” Just as the Net changes the mediums it engulfs, it will affect us in the same matter. New ways to view information are presented and then “injected” with ways for the reader’s attention to be diverted.
After cutting through the forests of Carr’s logistics, we find his ethical arguments coming about. His digressions are the first major points, they provide a commonly perceived social norm that the author then breaks down and proves fallacies in. One that stood out the most, IQ scores being higher than ever before. Not only does he state that this is a misconstrued fact, he argues that the ethics behind using computers to increase our knowledge is ironic because it actually decreases our working memory which is proportional to our IQ. Carr believes either that these numbers have come out of no-where or that there is some other source causing them. Carr also challenges the ethics that reading more is the way to produce deeper thinking, but points out, most of our reading now-a-days is mostly unconsciously “we glance at road signs, menus, headlines, shopping lists, the labels of products in stores” which are of brief duration and allow us to dwell only in the shallows. He also mentions, “For some people, the very idea of reading a book has come to seem old-fashioned, maybe even a


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