John Howard Griffin



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Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

Rhetorical Analysis—Choose 3 of these prompts to help guide you in writing your rhetorical analysis. These topics are thematically connected as they address fear, trust, sex, hatred, frustration, and emasculation.

Write your thesis in red — You must compose a compressed essay, which only consists of three supporting paragraphs. You are not required to use my statements. You may compose your own or put your own spin on my ideas.

You have 2 options:



Option #1

Option #2

  1. Choose one of the statements written on the back of this page.

  2. Your entire essay will have different examples that prove that one statement.

  3. Compose a thesis that connects your chosen statement to the author’s purpose/message and write it in red. Then skip a line and begin your first paragraph.

  4. Find two examples that support your chosen statement, for each paragraph, in different sections/dates of the novel.

  5. Examine the language of each quote and identify the rhetorical device(s) that Griffin uses to make his point.

  6. You must have at least eight sentences in each paragraph.

    • Thesis

    • Write a brief synopsis of the definition and highlight it.

    • Copy the quote from the text and write the page number after it.

    • You must tell me the function of the device.

    • Explain how the author uses the device to make his point (make sure you identify his point)

Repeat the process

  1. Choose 3 statements written on the back of this sheet that are thematically connected.

  2. Compose a thesis that identifies and connects your chosen theme to the author’s purpose/message and write it in red; then skip a line and begin your first paragraph.

  3. Then choose 3 different statements mine or your own and connect them to your overall thesis.

  4. Find two examples that support each of your chosen statements for each paragraph. These examples can be in the same sections/dates of the novel.

  5. Examine the language of each quote and identify the rhetorical device(s) that Griffin uses to make his point.

  6. You must have at least eight sentences in each paragraph.

    • Thesis

    • Write a brief synopsis of the definition and highlight it.

    • Copy the quote from the text and write the page number after it.

    • You must tell me the function of the device.

    • Explain how the author uses the device to make his point (make sure you identify his point)

Repeat the process

Analogy –compares two things, which are alike in several respects-Then in the same way that his won dwelling slipped away behind him as he rounded the corner on his bicycle, the dream slipped away from his thoughts” (39). This is an analogy because it compares the physical event of things disappearing when he passes them to the way his dreams disappear. Lowry uses this analogy to show how well the complete control of the society worked. Because as life continued, the citizens prescribed and habitual actions replaced their innate and natural reactions, because the prescribed habits were reinforced and the natural reactions were repressed.

When you compose a thesis for the rhetorical analysis you have to identify the author’s purpose/message and connect explain how the language (rhetorical device) is used to transmit that message.



You must identify the author’s message directly. Then find a quote with a rhetorical device in it (highlight the quote), identify the rhetorical device, in your chosen passage, and explain how it works to promote the author’s message (look at the RRJ rhetorical analysis section).




To identify the author’s message you must consider the intended audience as you answer one (or some) of these questions: “Why is John Griffin showing us this?” “What does he want us to think?” “What does he want us to understand?” “What does he want us to do?”



The intended audience for Black Like Me was White people and John Griffin used a number of rhetorical devices to draw the readers in as he tackled the difficult subject of racism.



John Griffin used a number of rhetorical devices to illustrate the sexual quagmire that plagued Black women.



John Griffin used a number of rhetorical devices to illustrate the sexual quagmire that plagued Black men.



John Griffin’s use of rhetorical devices illustrate that he understood/misunderstood the frustration of the Black man.



John Griffin’s use of rhetorical devices aid in his portrayal of sexuality in the Black community as a distraction.



John Griffin’s use of rhetorical devices aid in his portrayal of sexuality in the Black community as a means of survival.



John Griffin’s use of rhetorical devices aid in his portrayal of sexuality in the Black community as a vehicle of frustration.



John Griffin’s use of rhetorical devices aid in his portrayal of sexuality in the Black community as a mode of degradation.



John Griffin used rhetorical devices to illustrate the hatred that Blacks often felt for themselves.



John Griffin used rhetorical devices to illustrate the indignities that Blacks often had to endure at the hands of Whites.



John Griffin used rhetorical devices to illustrate the widespread institutionalized racism that made Blacks afraid to trust Whites.



John Griffin used rhetorical devices to illustrate the idea that Blacks and Whites were more alike than they were different.



John Griffin used rhetorical devices to illustrate the idea that Blacks were more accepting and welcoming than Whites.



John Griffin’s use of rhetorical devices aid in his portrayal poverty in the Black community as a vehicle of frustration and emasculation.



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