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Rhetorical Strategies of Dave Barry

  • Date Submitted: 02/07/2012 10:35 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.4 
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Rhetorical Strategies of Dave Barry
Dave Barry used a multitude of rhetorical devices to achieve humility in the essay Lost in the Kitchen. Devices such as figurative language, imagery, repetition, and tone were used to accomplish this humorous piece. Through the content in this essay, Barry was able to connect with his readers and easily bring humor into it.
One strategy Dave Barry uses is that of figurative language. This includes the use of metaphors, similes, allusions, and anaphora’s. We see the use of a simile in the following statement, “…most men make themselves as useful around the kitchen as ill-trained Labrador retrievers.” Using this sentence helps him succeed in creating a humorous tone in order to connect with his audience. Barry uses an anaphora by stating, “’I realize this is awful. I realize this sounds just like Ozzie and Harriet….” By stating this he is making a connection while adding humor. All these devices are used to create stereotypes, ringing humor to the essay.
Another strategy that Barry uses is imagery.  The imagery used in the statement, “Surrounding Arlene are thousands of steaming cooking containers. I would no more enter that kitchen that I would attempt to park a nuclear aircraft carrier, but my wife… becomes enshrouded with steam,” allows for a sense of fear. Men are afraid of the tools used in the kitchen, and don’t dare to enter into that domain. The feeling perceived is not only fear, but also humor. It is humorous of the fact that he is afraid of something so harmless.
Adding repetition also gave the audience a feeling of humor. The sentence, “…my wife, who runs her own kitchen implement and starts doing EXACTLY the right thing with EXACTLY the right things without receiving an instructions whatsoever,” shows that men are not good in the kitchen. This states that women do everything perfect while men do everything wrong.
Barry’s tone throughout the essay is very easy going and humorous. Starting out the essay with a good...

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