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Under The Influence

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Jennifer Beltran

on 30 November 2012

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Transcript of Under The Influence

by Scott Russell Sanders Main Idea Rhetorical Strategies Purpose Style Syntax: Sanders tells his story of growing up with an alcoholic father and the life-long effect it had on him. Ethos: Sanders has credibility on his topic because he lived through it; therefore, nobody
has more knowledge about it than he does. Through his story, Sanders is not trying to evoke sympathy from the reader, his purpose is to comprehend the effect that his father had on him during his childhood so that he won't go down the same path with his children Sanders uses a lot of figurative language: Tone and Syntax Under the Influence Mode This essay is a narration
-Sanders is telling his own story
using a first person point of view Method of organization The essay is told through flashbacks and is not in chronological order
As the essay progresses the ideas become more elaborate and complex as he explains the long-term effects of his experiences Pathos: Emotion is created through the descriptions of his experiences with his father Example: Example: "Mother watched him go... We children bawled.
Where could he go?... We bawled and bawled
wondering if he would ever come
back." His thesis is: "I do not wish to compete for a trophy in suffering. I am only trying to understand the corrosive mixture of helplessness , responsibility, and shame that I learned to feel as the son of an alcoholic." Similes: "Like a torture victim who
refuses to squeal, he would
never admit that he
had touched a drop..." "He drank as a gut-punched
gasps for breath, as a starving
dog gobbles food - compulsively,
secretly, in pain and trembling. Hyperbole: "The roof might fly off,
the walls might buckle
from the pressure of
his rage." Other stylistic features: Imagery: " I watch the amber liquid pour down his throat, alcohol steal into his blood, the key turn in his brain." "To the end, he would not speak about his feelings, would not or could not give a name to the beast that was devouring him." Throughout the essay Sanders maintains a serious, disappointed, and somewhat depressing tone. Example: "He would not hide green bottles in his tool box, would not sneak off to the barn with a lump under his coat, would not fall asleep in the daylight, would not roar and fume, would not drink himself to death, if only I were perfect." As a child, Sanders often blames himself for his father's addiction to alcohol. He believes that if he were a perfect child his father would be proud and his father would become sober. This adds to the disappointing tone
because it illustrates how Sanders is
not only let down by his father but with
himself as well for not being a better
son. The author uses an anaphora: "Again his hand shook too much for him to run a saw... Again he wound up in the ditch, in the hospital, in jail... Again he shouted and wept. Again he lied. Conclusion Sanders concludes his essay on a pessimistic note by saying that he himself is also possessed like his father was. Instead of alcohol, Sanders is addicted to his work, but is still cautious not to become like the kind of father he had. "I write, therefore, to drag into the light what eats at me - the fear, the guilt, the shame - so that my own children may be spared." This appeals to emotion because it makes the reader feel sorry for the narrator's struggle and it evokes sympathy from the reader even though that is not the author's purpose. It also contributes to the gloomy tone.
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