Rhetorical Analysis Essay Eng. 1010 -1020 Kenneth Taylor


“I’ve gone about three days without eating” Javier Walker a boy age 13, “When I get hungry it feels like I’m about to die or pass out” Jahmai Walker girl age 10. “It’s heartbreaking” “Ramen noodles again” Oscar Walker. Hunger Hits Home is a documentary which investigates why children are hungry in America, a home cooked crisis that has reached a critical mass, touching every community in America .The film looks up close and personal into the lives of three real families, the Walkers, Scarberrys and Davis .The documentary is aired by the Food Network and titled “Hunger Hits Home.

The film uses a three prong approach to influence its audience with a technique originally developed by Aristotle (Greek Philosopher) utilizing logos, ethos, and pathos. Logos appeals to the facts and evidence of the audience. Pathos appeals to the emotions of an audience, while ethos demonstrates the credibility of the writer.
Hunger Hit’s Home is a film that points to the hunger problem in America and the need to cure the problem. The film utilizes facts and figures and evidence to support its findings. It emphasizes more than 16 million kids in America live in households that struggle to put food on the tables. That’s one out of every five kids! The documentary is narrated by Oscar winning actor and longtime anti- hunger activist Jeff Bridges .Moreover the documentary compels the audience to take action against childhood hunger while exploring some innovative ways of solving the problem. By studying three different families from three uniquely different parts of the United States.

The film does an effective job of persuading its audience that children are hungry in America using ethos, pathos, and logos to make broad appeal to the public’s consciousness.

 Logos

The film reaches logical conclusion without generalizations by using concrete examples of three families on a case by case basis and forwards good evidence to prove its main point that childhood hunger is a problem everywhere in America.

The documentary points out 1 out of every five children struggle with hunger, 18.5 million children receive food stamps; there are 16 million children in America at risk of hunger. Almost 45million Americans used SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps during) 2011.
• Ethos

The documentary is narrated by Oscar winning actor and longtime anti- hunger activist Jeff Bridges. However it’s aired by the Food Network and is titled Hunger Hit’s Home. They also work in conjunction with an organization called Share Our Strength. The politicians lend a helping hand with the No Kid Hungry Campaign supported by Barack Obama the president of the United States who has vowed to eradicate hunger in America by 2015. The U.S.D.A. (United States Department of Agriculture) is used in film as a creditable source.
• Pathos
The film looks up close and personal into the lives of three real families, the Walkers, Scarberrys and Davis while capitalizing on the pathos provided by Minnie’s Food Pantry owned and operated by Sheryl Jackson in Allen, Texas.

The Walkers
The author does not waste any time injecting heart felt doses of pathos to appeal to its audience using a powerful dose of pathos in its opening line of the trailer to the documentary when Javier Walker says; “I’ve gone about three days without eating” this ignites an emotional flame that burns throughout the documentary as the audience is quickly reined in, that statement tends to bind itself to one’s mind as one views the rest of the film leaving a sort of a mental imprint on one’s cognitive domain. The words have a long lasting residual affect which is unforgettable. “When I get hungry it feels like I’m about to die or pass out” Jahmai Walker a girl age 10, this statement acts to foster heighten emotional senses arousing ones sympathetic nervous system. “It’s Heartbreaking” says Oscar Walker of Norfolk , Virginia who is experiencing shame, embarrassment, sadness, sorrow , and diminished pride from the inability to feed his family a well-balanced meal daily and must rely on help from government. The Walker family must apply for food stamp even with Oscar having a decent job working for, ironically the government making 16.00 dollars per hours with four children and a wife name Athena this family is collectively known as the Walkers, and Oscar Walker has lost all hope in the American Dream which he believes is now prevaricated.

The Scarberrys

Dave Scarberry from Allen, Texas, is age 40 he is single father who lost his job in 2008. His house is currently in foreclosure and was schedule to be sold in a sheriff’s sale but he has momentarily escaped that tragic result of his home being taken. However just the thought of not knowing when his home could be taking away is tantamount to having part of his pride and dignity taken away, he too faces embarrassment, and shame which is a devastating blow to his pride. He feels his situation is overwhelmingly unconquerable. You see he is in church with his last ninety dollars in his pockets two weeks before Christmas, and has nothing for his son for Christmas who is 10 years old. Braden has no mother in the home to help cook . Braden favorite food is Ramen noodles most likely by default , partly because they are eating it on a regular basis for dinner out of necessity. He is hungry. Branden has taken on his father’s stress, tensions, worry, and is currently being robbed of an innocent childhood. The author gives the audience another huge dose of pathos regarding the Scarberrys story which synergizes the audiences emotional response most likely to the point viewers may began to produce tear drops. The author certainly accomplishes his mission ,placing the audience in a state of pathos euphoria

The Davis
The Davis’s cannot find fresh produce for their two small children who suffer from lack of proper nutrition because they are literally struck in a food dessert. The Davis’s are a family of four, two babies ages 7months, and 22 months Effie is only person employed her husband is unemployed as they reside in New York city sometimes called a “Concrete Jungle” because of its small amount of green space. The Davis’s do not have the money to travel on a regular basis to places which sells the fresh produce or to buy much of the expensive produce sold at a premium. The children are under nourished and hungry primarily because of poverty. The author goes into pathos overdrive using Effie Davis to call into question her responsibilities, as a mother. Effie has enormous duties and burdens she’s face with, caused by her maternal instincts as a mother who feels inadequate because she cannot provide well balanced meals for her kids .The film capitalizes on this aspect of her life. One of Effie’s worsted fears is her kids will develop a vicious cycle of diabetes, a disease she is currently living with herself.

Minnie’s Food Pantry

Remember the Scarberrys they have made it to Minnie’s Food Pantry for some much needed help with food as Dave Scarberry has mustered up enough courage to put his pride aside for the good of his son. How about them cowboys! Dave fears of shame and embarrassment from others seeing him there at the pantry are quickly laid to rest. Minnie’s unique approach to handing out food to families by appointment allows Dave and his son privacy, and as close to a real shopping experience that was possible under the circumstances. They were able to pick some of the foods they most desired while at the panty. Braden was able to get a supersize pack of Ramen noodles, one of his favorite foods .The documentary tears of stress from pain are reversed to tears of joy and jubilation. Finally pathos is display by author in a positive light. Both are displays of being happy or sad are intense emotional sensations for the audience.

Minnie’s Food Pantry owned and operated by Sheryl Jackson in Allen ,Texas she is a tough hard working, cargo truck driving, red warm colored blouse wearing, passionate lady with a heart of gold. Sheryl Jackson’s maternal instincts, and kindred spirit that touches the marginalize people asking for food , by turning otherwise a depressing cry for food into a good experience. We witness a modern day Mother Teresa a Texascanian, who makes a living by giving with a big heart directed at big problem everything is bigger in Texas .Minnie cries in a cargo truck because she has no more food to give to hungry people. The once again uses two emotional extremes when big box store Wal-Mart donates her a truckload of food she also cries overcome with a sensation of surprise and joy. Pathos, pathos, pathos.

The documentary does an extraordinary in job identifying a wide spread food crisis all across American among its children. The hunger problem is pervasive and has affected different races of people and all social classes. The three families represented here is a distinct cross section of people in America. The net is cast long and wide and all type of children are finding themselves engulfed, entangled, and trapped in its threads in what is a virtual melting pot of home cook hunger. the facts , figures , evidence ,and issues are made crystal clear by the author kids are going hungry in America in a critical mass the film is successful because it influences the audience towards its authors perspective in a broad appeal using Pathos as the main ingredient and key component that guides the audience right into a path of a moral ethical sympathetic tsunami which is inescapable and has its audience drowning in tears, this film is a call to duty to war against hunger . The author uses integrated crisis management techniques using politicians, anti –hunger activist, educators, and governmental agencies who enjoin forces together to develop solutions to cure childhood hunger.

So the questions raised is, why are we letting this happen to us and are children, why hasn’t the Obama administration provide more help?
The documentary stated 6 million families have lost their homes. Do we have bigger problem with the economy caused by high unemployment and home foreclosure mortgage crisis? Why is the cost of food so expensive? Food for thought; the Thomas Malthus Dismal Theory; “All living things will increase beyond its means of survival, at which time, war, starvation, famine, and disease will restore equilibrium”.


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