Elizabeth Stevenson Rhetorical Devices

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Rhetorical Devices of Elizabeth Stevenson In Babbitts and Bohemians: The American 1920s, Elizabeth Stevenson describes a change in the American people’s way of life during the 1920s. This change occurred in the way people, especially women, started to live a more free and distinctive lifestyle. Throughout this excerpt from Stevenson’s piece, she developed her argument using helpful rhetorical devices that displayed the 1920s as an exciting, new, and noteable change of life in America. Diction was used to add emphasis to descriptions of lifestyle, women, and the flapper and the way they changed in the 1920s. Symbolism was used to characterize the new attitude of women in a specific, and familiar form. Additionally, the use of logos logically …show more content…
These symbols created a picture of women that was able to be seen through Stevenson’s words, and also aided the understanding and believability of Stevenson’s point of change from the 1920s. “The most effervescent symbol of the twenties was the flapper. She was a new American girl, a new woman, a new arrangement of the elements of sex and love” (Stevenson 2) was a statement from Stevenson that directly creating a symbol out of the flapper. In order to relay to her audiences the newfound style and attitude of women in the 1920s, the flapper was used to stand as the main symbol. The flapper was strong, and confident in attitude, which Stevenson used to describe the new kind of women at the time: strong and confident women, just like that flapper. “A cover shows a fond and fatuous portrait of a Mary Pickford girl who has long corkscrew curls trailing down to a soft and modest neckline” (Stevenson 6) is another example of how Stevenson created a symbol out of Mary Pickford. The style of sweet, innocent, yet strong women in the 1920 is perfectly symbolized through the use of Mary Pickford and her matching type of style. Just as Stevenson’s symbol of the flapper, her symbol of Mary Pickford built up her arguments of the way women changed and grew into strong minded women; in this specific example, women of innocence embodied the strong …show more content…
Specific examples of the way women were perceived in the 1920s through pieces of writing reinforced her argument of their change; therefore, allowing her audience to logically think about the evidence of change in lifestyle. Stevenson described multiple magazine covers from the Saturday Evening Post in the 1920s that showcased the actions and appearance of women and how it changed throughout their magazines (Stevenson 4). This added logos to Stevenson’s argument because it gave actual data and reference to change in women through the magazine covers. The audience in that moment was no longer just being persuaded through Stevenson’s words, but also the literature of the 1920s that showcased the change Stevenson is describing. Stevenson also goes on to use Bruce Bliven’s “Flapper Jane” which was featured in The New Republic to give her audience evidence of the media 's focus on the new women. This piece described the commonly known flapper in that time period, and although negatively portrayed them, provided proof that the flapper had appeared in the 1920s and influenced the American women (Stevenson 8-9). Her reference to such piece of literature gave her overall piece support in the fact that the new age of women truly was an element of the 1920s. Excerpts like this one proved Stevenson’s point: that Americans, especially

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