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Writers’ Ethical Decisions in Non-Fiction, Essay Example

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Essay

In various types of writings, rhetorical strategies are a significant tool in persuading the readers to understand the narrator’s viewpoints and perspectives.  Rhetorical strategies are methods the authors may use within their writing to effectively connect and persuade the audience.

For example, in the essay “No Name Woman,” written by Maxine Hong Kingston, the author illustrates continues to persuade the audience in various types of methods. The author exemplifies how complicated it is for an individual to find a medium between two entirely different cultures.“To make my waking life American-normal, I turn on the lights before anything untoward makes an appearance. I push the deformed into my dreams, which are in Chinese, the language of impossible stories. Before we can leave our parents, they stuff our heads like the suitcases which they jam-pack with homemade underwear” (Kingston 939).

Thispassage demonstrates how confused Kingston is trying to balance the two cultures, and realizing the huge differences within the cultures.Kingston has such difficulty dealing with the differences between the two cultures that she manages to live as an American during the day, yet still in her dreams she witnesses various images within the Chinese culture.The narrator has such a difficult time attempting to balance and manage the two cultures, which is demonstrated throughout Kingston’s writing techniques.  In essence, Kingston struggles with her heritage, and spends her entire life debating which culture creates ethical decisions within their beliefs.Another example of Kingston’s rhetorical strategies throughout her essay are demonstrated when Kingston’s mother told Kingston that she had an aunt that committed suicide and killed her infant child.  Kingston’s aunt killed herself because she was viewed as a disgrace to women in society since she was not faithful to her husband. “You must not tell anyone,” my mother said, “what I am about to tell you. In China your father had a sister who killed herself. She jumped into the family well. We say that your father has all brothers because it is as if she had never been born” (Kingston 936). When Kingston is told her family’s past story from her mother, she is confused on what emotions to feel because she isn’t sure which culture is right or wrong. Kingston is confused whether her aunt should disgrace her because of her mother’s Chinese culture, or is she should feel remorse for her aunt because in the American societyher aunt wouldn’t have been rejected from society for her actions.  This confuses Kingston, because she doesn’t know which culture is ethically correct about the decisions and opinions that have been made. Kingston demonstrates that being connected with two different cultures can be extremely difficult. However, in America if a woman decides to be unfaithful to her husband, she isn’t viewed as a disgrace nor is she rejected from society.“I had to leave home in order to see the world logically, logic the new way of seeing. I learned to think that mysteries are for explanation. I enjoy the simplicity. Concrete pours out of my mouth to cover the forests with freeways and sidewalks. Give me plastics, periodical tables, TV dinners with vegetables no more complex than peas mixed with diced carrots. Shine floodlights into dark corners: no ghosts” (Kingston 941).Throughout the essay, Kingston was constantly dealing with emotions of confusion due to her connection of two extremely different cultures, eventually she managed to discover a balance between the cultures, and decide for herself which culture constructs ethical decisions.  In the Chinese culture, she was told several myths and stories about various topics, however she was never given a chance to actually live any experiences until she immigrated into America, where she learned for herself that some actions in the Chinese culture isn’t ethically the same in the American culture.  When she started to live her own experiences, she began to realize the life she was living was forced upon her and demonstrated confusion to the audience, which gave the reader a chance to understand both cultures and the life she was living.  Kingston learned that neither culture demonstrated poor ethical decisions or views, however the two cultures viewed particular perspectives in a different aspect.

On the other hand, writers such as Salman Rushdie express several opinions within their writings, which can help persuade an audience to the writer’s viewpoints. For example, Rushdie uses a very decisive and opinionated form of writing in “Imagine There’s No Heaven.” Basically, Rushdie rejects all types of religions and explains that religions are controlling the unique individualities of the people within society.  Also, Rushdie continues to blame all religions for several issues that society may face. “The real wars of religion are the wars religions unleash against ordinary citizens within their “sphere of influence”. They are wars of the godly against the largely defenseless. American fundamentalists against pro-choice doctors, Iranian mullahs against their country’s Jewish minority, Hindu fundamentalists in Bombay against that city’s increasingly fearful Muslims” (Rushdie 518).Rushdie attempts to persuade the audience, by trying to convince the audience that religions are major reasons in why society doesn’t agree with one another. However, Rushdie doesn’t give the audience a chance to create his/her own opinion, because he brutally focuses on his opinions. Additionally, Rushdie states that every religion is simply wrong, and it seems as if he mocks the knowledge of human’s. “As human knowledge has grown, it has also become plain that every religious story ever told about how we got here is quite simply wrong. This, finally, is what all religions have in common. They didn’t get it right. There was no celestial churning, no maker’s dance, no vomiting of galaxies, no snake or kangaroo ancestors, no Valhalla, no Olympus, no six-day conjuring trick followed by a day of rest. Wrong, wrong, wrong.” (Rushdie 518).Rushdie continues with offensive and narrow-minded opinions that religions are reasons why individuals don’t think for themselves.  Also, he continues by stating the reason sexually transmitted diseases are passed around is mainly due to religions.  However, Rushdie is using his harsh verbal language to convince the audience that religions aren’t ethically correct and they cause negative actions.  Rushdie continues in attempting to force his cruel opinions on the audience, and tries to persuade them that following religions aren’t ethically correct in today’s society.  Since Rushdie conveys such incendiary language,it is extremely hard for the reader to agree, disagree, or make his/her own opinion on the topic being discussed.

In essence, authors use writing techniques, such as rhetorical strategies, to persuade and influence an audience to agree upon their own viewpoints. However, in the writing, “Imagine There’s No Heaven,” written by Salman Rushdie, the author uses harsh and strict criticism for the audience to understand the significance of his viewpoints of religions, and why he feels religion doesn’t exemplify ethics within today’s society.  Nevertheless, in “No Name Woman,” written by Maxine Hong Kingston, the author illustrates confusion throughout the essay because she is unsure which culture is exemplifying positive ethics within their beliefs. Nevertheless, Rushdie’s and Kingston’s unique and descriptive writing styles affect each reader in different aspects.

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