Rhetorical Analysis

7 July 2016

Mckibben “The Case for Single –Child Families. ” first appeared in the Christian century in 1998. In this essay Mckibben aims to convince his readers that having one child doesn’t mean that you’re child will follow the single child stereotype, and that the environmental status of our planet will worsen if we continue to have a growing population. “If we keep heating the planet at our current pace, the seas will rise two feet in the next century. ” Personal anecdotes, and using and assertive serious tone are techniques McKibben used to develop a convincing essay.

Mckibben begins his essay with a personal anecdote describing his trip to the vasectomy office, where he’s thrown with all these questions about having one child, and the consequences of having only one child. This shows that the essay is very personal and formal. This is also a great to catch the reader’s attention. This anecdote is used as information for the first point that McKibben’s make in the following paragraphs, “…in the last ten or 20 or 30 years, our impact has grown so much that we’re changing even those places we don’t inhabit—changing the way the weather works.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

” Another anecdote in the essay explains how Mckibben also on how his work on environmental issues brought up population, and the decision he is making might be good for the population. “I know that by 2050 there will be almost 50 percent more Americans (and nearly 100 percent more human beings) than there are now. ” Anecdotes such as these help the reader start to think about the issue that he is bringing to the forefront. The anecdotes in this story also support his main points and ideas. The anecdotes clearly provide evidence and support for the fact that our rapid population could cause many environmental issues.

After the catching the reader’s attention with a personal anecdote, he transitions to a more serious tone. His serious tone helps the reader witness how he is seriously concerned about the environment, and how his one child added a lot of waste to the earth. “… Americans may exceed that from the new Indians and Chinese combined. My five-year-old daughter has already used more stuff and added more waste to the environment than many of the world’s residents do in a lifetime.

“When Sue and I faced the issue of how many children to have, these abstract issues of population became personal and practical. ” Mckibben also uses the tone to illustrate the importance of how considering his child is important. Through tone he began to address the cliche stereotypes that people have towards single children “I explored the myths surrounding “the only child,” and the cliches about one child being spoiled and overly dependent. Although these questions are emotionally charged and complex, every bit of research in recent decades shows that only kids do just fine” He also questioned if in fact are the parents selfish.

“Along with doing all the research, however, I had to confront the deeply ingrained sense in many of us that there’s something inherently selfish about not being willing to have children. It’s not as strong as the sense of selfishness that can attach itself to abortion, but it’s there nonetheless, and particularly strong, I think, in people of faith. It’s the relic of our long theological wrestle with the issue of birth control. And it is not easily dismissed. Condoms may not be sinful, but selfishness must be, if anything is.

The children of small families are no more selfish than any other kids—but are the parents? ” The tone in this reading, also helps develop how Mckibben is considering the earth, and if him having this operation is selfish, because he wants to protect the environment. Midway through the essay, Mckibben continues to seriously discuss the controversial topics about having more than one child. “The beginning of Genesis contains the fateful command, repeated elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

” That this was the first commandment gave it special priority… But there is something else unique about it—it is the first commandment we have fulfilled there’s barely a habitable spot on the planet without a human being; in our lifetimes we’ve filled every inch of the planet with our presence everywhere the temperature climbs, the ultraviolet penetrates more deeply. ” This develops the fact that the bible says, be fruitful and multiple however Mckibben is still thinking about how being fruitful isn’t good for the state that our earth is already in.

Towards the end of the essay, Mckibben becomes more assertive with his point on population and how it affects the environment, and how even though God said be fruitful its not God’s fault. “If we keep heating the planet at our current pace, the seas will rise two feet in the next century. Every one-foot will bring the water 90 feet further inland across the typical American beach, drowning wetland and marsh. It’s our lack of planning that changes the rainfall, which means more severe storms and worse flooding. It’s not an “act of God.

” It’s an act of us. ” This helps the reader understand that even though Mckibben believes people abided by God’s word people have abused it, by over populating and abusing what God created. More importantly the way Mckibben structured his essay shows that if he hadn’t started off with the personal anecdote, he would lack a connection with the audience instead of just starting with the assertive tone and start stating facts. These specifically designed essays help convince or at least made them think about our planet and the terror we face.

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