Rhetorical Analysis: We Can Afford To Give Parents A Break

814 Words 4 Pages
In the 2006 Mother’s Day edition of the Washington Post, journalist, Jody Heyman, takes an aggressive stance on the treatment of working parents, primarily mothers. In her article, “We Can Afford to Give Parents a Break,” Heyman addresses the issues of guaranteed long-term paid maternity leave, paid leave to care for sick children, and the myths surrounding the effects of such benefits. Heyman uses the appeals of ethos, logos and pathos to encourage support for her causes.
Heyman establishes herself as authentic to the readers without even trying. The Washington Post, an extremely well known national newspaper, printed her article on Mother’s Day, a day newspapers are usually filled with cutesy features. Instead of filling the space with a
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For many, thinking of mothers brings about warm feelings. An article about mothers published on Mother’s Day likely reminded the reader of their own mother and the warm feelings they associate with their mother. The audience then reads facts about the government’s mistreatment of mothers with the warm thoughts towards their own mothers in mind, this brings about an emotional response from the readers. This, in addition to the facts about mothers and children, furthers the emotion. For example, in the third paragraph Heyman writes, “Breast-feeding is crucial because it lowers infant morbidity and mortality three-to-fivefold.” This fact paints a picture of a working mother grieving over her sickly baby because the office gave her insufficient maternity leave. Her syntax and diction in every sentence emphasizes the emotion of the already subject-sensitive facts. Heyman uses “does not” instead of “doesn’t” to reiterate the weight of her words and exercises powerful adjectives. She refers to breastfeeding as “crucial,” and alternative policies as “progressive” and “humane” in comparison to the current protocol (paragraph

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