Rhetorical Analysis Of The City And The Pillars By Adam Gopnik

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Adam Gopnik in the article, “The City and the Pillars”, explains that there are different methods of coping when reacting to a tragedy like the one that occurred on September 11th, 2001. Gopnik supports his explanation by using extended metaphors, rhetorical questions, and allusions to describe the moments leading up to the attack, and the attack itself. The author’s purpose is to portray different forms of grieving in order to show people vary in response to catastrophic events. The author writes in a formal tone for the general population and establishes this connection with the audience by writing about the perspectives of the everyday people involved.
Gopnik illustrates a regular, sunny day in New York in order to show how there was a sense
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He includes the perspective of a bystander of the events of 9/11. He asks, “Why are the pigeons rising?”(Gopnik 1). He develops this rhetorical question in order to create a sense of tension in the audience. Pigeons are capable of flying which shows the author’s use of dramatic irony to reveal the extent of the unusual situation. Moreover, this foreshadows the likelihood that something terrible would occur. Gopnik’s use of rhetorical question shows the perspective of one those bystanders who were about to see a terrorist attack happen before their …show more content…
Although he shows society as materialistic, he explains that that is their inherent response to something as shocking as 9/11. He claims, “Many of the carts held goods of the bubble decade, hothouse goods”(Gopnik 1). By using this quote to develop the allusion, he was trying to show why some people reacted by buying luxury items that one would buy when not in a time of crisis. It reveals a sense of utter disbelief that leaves people wanting to take some sort of action.
Ultimately, Gopnik expresses the different forms of grieving and shows that there are different reactions to devastating events. He creates this message through extended metaphors, rhetorical questions, and allusions. These devices reveal the perspectives of those reacting to the attacks. Gopnik explains the moments leading up to these attacks, and the horrific

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