Literary Devices in Article We Can Afford to Give Parents a Break

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This article was an argument for the fairness of mother’s in the work field. The article’s main dispute is based upon the counterargument. This article was created for parents all over America to see. The author effectively uses pathos, ethos, and logos throughout the text. Although a published article, the author had flaws every so often. In the long run, the author managed to create an article that gets across to its audience.

The author had good intentions for writing this article. From reading the article a couple times, it seems that the author could be a mother herself or a supporter for women’s rights. It appears they really care about the topic. The author’s intentions were well put. It seems they wanted to open the eyes of people on a subject that has long been looked passed. The author anticipated to get across to parents, and to get people to do something about the issue. I believe that’s exactly what they got.

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The author used quite a few tactics to productively argue their opinion. Within the first couple of paragraphs, the author placed facts to illuminate her side. For example, in the second paragraph the author states, “Of 168 countries on which I collected data…164 have found a way to guarantee paid maternity leave. The only ones that haven’t are … the United States,” (Heyman, 2006). This statement was only in second paragraph of the argument. The author is just getting started. Paragraph after paragraph, facts are put into the text to give credibility to this author.

The author of this article has a lot of credibility helping her establish ethos. It appears that facts are the only things here that help the author establish credibility. There is nothing that says the author is a parent herself, although we may assume. So with the facts placed throughout the text, the author is only able to establish ethos this way. Even then, we don’t know what source she got the facts from. “When children get sick, parents in 37 countries are guaranteed at least a minimum amount of paid leave to care for them,” is an example of a statement made by the author with no source (Heyman, 2006). This continues throughout the entire article.

Though lacking, the author was able to establish pathos. The author knew her audience and was trying to play to their emotions. In this case, the author was trying to fire up her audience and get them to take action. By saying, “Breast-feeding is … But in America, there is no guarantee that mothers will be able to safeguard their infants in this way,” the author is trying to use fear as a factor to get parents to do something about the problem (Heyman, 2006). There is nothing a parent cares more about than the safety of their child. Overall, the author plays her role well in using emotion to target her audience.

On the right track, the author also does a fine job in establishing logos. She makes her message short and sweet while fitting in all the details and essentials for writing a good article. After reading the article the first time it seemed to me that the author was mad about parent’s rights in the U.S. As I read it again, it became clear that not only is she mad, but she wants people to do something about it. In the last paragraph she states, “If politicians of either mainstream persuasion in the United States really valued mothers and families on Mother’s Day or any other day, they would commit to finally ensuring rights for American mothers and fathers that most parents around the world already enjoy,” which basically says that if other countries can guarantee it, then the U.S. should too (Heyman, 2006). She knows how to get to her audience. She shows it throughout the text. It is plain to see that she is furious the American government not guaranteeing rights to parents that other countries already grant. The author wants these readers to do something about it. It is crystal clear that she won’t stop until she gets what she wants.

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