Rhetorical analysis

Topics: Colonialism, British Empire, Osama bin Laden Pages: 5 (1191 words) Published: August 2, 2014
Alexander Akande
Professor. Rascoe
English 1302
12th, July 2014 Rhetorical Analysis In Dinesh D' Souza’s essay, "Two Cheers for Colonialism,” he attempts to convince the audience about several concerns regarding colonialism and Western civilization. He employs various methods to make the audience see his point of view. He uses a lot of emotional appeals, humor, ethos, logos, and anecdotes to argue that the West did not become influential through colonial oppression. He says, "By suggesting that the West became dominant because it is oppressive, they provide an explanation for Western global dominance without encouraging white racial arrogance. They relieve the Third World of blame for its wretchedness,"(1) and "The West did not become rich and powerful through colonial oppression. It makes no sense to claim that the West grew rich and strong by conquering other countries and taking their stuff"(2). He uses rhetorical strategies such as evidence-based arguments like the one above, to make a strong logical appeal to the audience. D' Souza’s essay begins by describing how terrorism apologists justify acts of terrorism by arguing they were done in the name of revenge against western oppression. "Apologists for terrorism, including Osama Bin Laden, argue that terrorist acts are an understandable attempt on the part of subjugated non-Western peoples to lash out against their longtime Western oppressors"(1). Nobody really fancies Osama Bin Laden, so this was a shrewd use of pathos to stir up negative emotions in the mind of the reader, in an attempt to convince the reader to understand his point of view. Another use of pathos in this essay was his description of the role British colonists played in the abolition of bad ancient practices in India. "It was the British who, applying a universal notion of human rights, in the early 19th century abolished the ancient Indian institution of sati-the custom of tossing widows on the funeral pyre of their dead husbands"(3). Innocent lives were lost prior to the intervention of the British, by showing this entirely positive side of the British people, he emotionally appeals to the audience. By using this technique, he aims to make the audience see that the British people were not all about oppression. Humor is also a method he used in this essay to appeal to pathos. He says, “The arguments of these Western scholars are supported by Third World intellectuals like Wole Soyinka, Chinweizu - who uses only one name"(1). Stating that a third world author “uses only one name" was either an attempt at humor, or a mockery of the possible lack of civilization of a "third world" scholar. He did this to make the mood of the essay a bit humorous for the audience and to ease any tension that the audience might feel. Such a strategy makes the audience more receptive to D’Souza’s argument. Shortly after capturing the audiences’ interest with emotional appeals and humor, D’Souza embellishes his argument with logical facts. D'Souza makes a transition from the use of pathos to the use of logos to support his argument. He elaborates on the idea that the British could not even have attained such a high level of influence by stealing and taking resources from other cultures, because there was nothing to take. He says, “the West could not have reached its current stage of wealth and influence by stealing from other cultures for the simple reason that there wasn't very much to take"(2). He argues that the British never stole resources from third world countries, rather they brought this resources to them. For example D’Souza writes, "But as economic historian P.T. Bauer points out, before British rule, there were no rubber trees in Malaya, nor cocoa trees in West Africa, nor tea in India. The British brought the rubber tree to Malaya from South America. They brought tea to India from China. And they...

Bibliography: Souza, Dinesh D. "Two Cheers for Colonialism." SFGate. N.p., 12 July 2014. Web. 20 July 2014.
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