Subject: “The Way We Are” rhetorical analysis
To analyze the effectiveness of Thomas Lynch’s essay, The Way We Are.
Throughout the personal essay, The Way We Are, by Thomas Lynch, many outlying themes are presented by the effective use of foundations of rhetoric and markers of excellence. First off, Lynch writes about facing his fears. One fear described is admitting that he is an alcoholic and how it has affected his children. It is clearly presented by his use of pathos, “I knew that I never wanted to see that fear of me again in the eyes of any of my children,” (Lynch 104). After seeing the look in his son’s eyes he had to face the fact that he was an alcoholic and find help. He explained the way he felt after realizing his children were just as afraid of his disease, and that awareness propelled his sobriety.
After many years of drinking, Lynch knew the obvious signs of alcoholism which he caught in his son. It was not a reality that he was ready to deal with so he brushed it off as nothing. His use of ethos explained why he had to take control; his son’s life was slowly declining, between the daily drinking to the constant solitude and nearly drowning in a puddle, it was escalating as his own life had.
A strong statement made by Lynch was “I want to remember him the way he was” (97), he did not want to think of his son as a corpse and the reality of never talking to or seeing his son again. The entire essay was incredibly detailed and honest about how alcoholism has taken over his family, but alcohol had never taken a life in his family, a fear he had not yet accepted. Lynch said “we fear that seeing will be believing” (96), and seeing that his son had succumb to the disease would mean that he had to believe his son was gone. If Lynch could “remember him the way he was” (97) then he would never have to remember the son who was an addict.
The second main theme during this essay was a person is the product of...