Rhetorical Analysis

11 November 2016

By summarizing his childhood experiences, Cooper is able to clarify that being a teenager and being attracted to the same sex is not an easy obstacle to overcome. Cooper is able to draw the reader in with personal and private life experiences from his early teenage years. In the first paragraph, Cooper expresses his infatuation with his ninth-grade classmate Theresa Sanchez. Every week he evaluates with curiosity the new books she hides under her copy of Today’s Equations and he is intrigued with the fact that she is more mature than everybody else.

However, as the reader moves through the body paragraphs, the subject shifts from Theresa to Cooper’s personal experiences with his friends. Cooper intentionally organizes the essay between the two characters to show contrast, to keep the reader entertained and interested, and to also provide the reader with consistency while reading the essay. Even though Cooper jumps back and forth between characters, it is effective because interchanging between the two characters keeps the reader entertained and at ease.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Behind his writing, Cooper retells the untold story of every boy who has ever had trouble accepting their selves. Throughout his writing, Cooper introduces a variety of different rhetorical devices. First he starts with detailed imagery while describing scenes as he saw them in his childhood whether they are about his mom, or his peers. Then he moves on to anecdotes that are so in depth that he leaves the reader blushing in embarrassment, and that leave the audience not only wanting, but yearning to read on.

And then he moves on, using diction that is both attention grabbing and interesting, even while describing the simplest scenes. Grady Rogers, one of Cooper’s good friends, was the first person that he knew he was attracted to. While describing him, Cooper uses words like “sturdy (Cooper 121)” and “boisterous (121)” or “gapped-toothed (121)” to illustrate how he sees his close friend. This use of imagery provides an illustration for the reader to distinguish how deep Cooper’s feelings are for his friend. In addition to using a vivid use of imagery, Cooper also uses anecdotes to portray what his friend was really like.

By using impacting anecdotes such as when the author describes Grady coming out of the pool, the reader is able to infer Cooper’s astonishment when he discovers he was attracted to his close friend. “The instant Grady shot from the pool, shaking water from his orange hair, freckled shoulders shining, my attraction to members of my own sex became a matter I could no longer suppress (121). ” The personal anecdotes were more meaningful, and more moving, than the use of plain descriptions Cooper uses while describing his experiences at school.

Throughout the essay, Cooper is also able to use a diverse choice of words. He uses words like “akimbo (122)” and”iridescent (122)” or “barbaric (127)” to illustrate what he was seeing as a young teenager. His use of diction reflects not only what he saw as a teenager, but also how he sees the scenes looking back at them as an adult. These uses of brilliant word choice is able to keep the reader interested in the story, illustrate his personal experiences with exactness, and is also able add to the use of imagery used in his essay. By using all of these elements, Cooper ties in a conclusion flawlessly.

In the end, Cooper is able to find himself and he is happy about the person who he was turned out to be. He is able to justify that nobody should be afraid of admitting they like the same sex, because in the end, no one else’s happiness matters. Overall, Bernard Cooper’s essay:”A Clack of Tiny Sparks” features great promise to anyone and everyone who is fortunate enough to read it. Works Cited Cooper, Bernard. “A Clack of Tiny Sparks: Remembrances of a Gay Boyhood. ” Cohen, Samuel. 50 Essays. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2007. 487.

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