Rhetorical Analysis: "The American Dream, Supersized"

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AP Language and Composition 3rd period
5 September 2011
Rhetorical Analysis: “The American Dream, Supersized”
In “The American Dream, Supersized”, Bruce Handy and Glynis Sweeney use juxtapositioning, irony, and the title of the piece to humorously bring attention to how the vision of America has changed, and how the American dream is a lot different today than it was in the past.

The first rhetorical choice Handy and Sweeney use in their piece is the title. The word supersized is separated from the rest of the title with a comma, so that it is emphasized. The word supersized is also an allusion to McDonald’s, which is seen all over the world as a symbol of America. McDonald’s is a huge corporation, and using a word related to it in the title helps to show that America in general has become a country where bigger is better, and everyone wants to gain as much for themselves as possible. The American dream used to be known as a person leaving a country in which they had no freedoms, or their rulers made it hard for them to have a good life, to come to America so that they could have all of the freedoms that the country offers, and so that they could provide a comfortable life for their families. However, the values of America have changed drastically, and the American dream has changed along with them.

The second rhetorical choice that Handy and Sweeney use is juxtapostioning. They use juxtapositoning in the visual aide, and it is very effective. The first instance is in the second and fourth frames, with the former showing hard working immigrants in front of the tenements, and the latter showing the children driving by the tenements in a limo after their bus broke down. The second instance in which juxtapositioning is used is in the first and last frames. The first frame shows the immigrants of the past coming to America, with a serious look on their faces, and the last frame shows immigrants coming to America, still from the past, but with hopes for their...
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