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Rhetorical Analysis over "ground Zero" by Suzanne Berne

Essay by   •  January 24, 2012  •  Essay  •  441 Words (2 Pages)  •  24,659 Views

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Ground Zero

In the essay "Ground Zero," Suzanne Berne shares an extremely emotional experience of her visit to Ground Zero in New York's financial district. The site where the World Trade Center once stood before the tragic events of 9/11. While sharing her experience, Berne uses imagery, figurative language, and tone to make the reader visualize and feel as she did. By using these stylistic elements, Berne shows the reader just how strong and sentimental her experience was.

The author uses her intense description to make the reader feel the same remorse and admiration as she did during her visit to Ground Zero. Berne uses words such as, "incredulousness," "respect," and "honor," to show how the disaster impacted the people. The large amount of visitors and American flags that went up express the feeling of admiration. She also writes, "pay my respects" and "black coats," to show a feeling of grief that was in the air. Seeing the firefighters pull out bodies and clean up all the mess really gave onlookers a feeling of despair.

Berne uses tone to show the reader how tragic and shocking the disaster was to people. By writing, "takes quite awhile" and "it is unbelievable," Berne expresses the amount of disbelief in the people around her. What people were seeing had left them speechless. Berne also writes "great bowl of light," "emptiness that seems weirdly spacious," and "little cemetery," to make the reader feel just how tragic this event was to the country. She demonstrates how this single event caused so much damage, took several lives, but left nothing behind.

Berne also uses an abundance of figurative language to give the reader a better image of what she was seeing. By using the simile, "like a construction site," she basically gives the picture of all the machinery and noise that she later mentions. Seeing all this going on would really catch someone's eye then realizing what was going on. Berne also writes, "dark theater into a bright afternoon," which shows the effect she felt when seeing the site for the first time. With the building being gone, there was a large amount of light that would surprise the viewer. The writer's use of figurative language gives the reader an apprehensible idea of how she felt while experiencing this.

Berne writes "Ground Zero," with the intention to give the reader the same feeling and emotion that she witnessed during her visit to the site where the World Trade Center once was. Through her stylistic elements of figurative language and tone, Berne does an amazing job of keeping the reader interested and making the reader feel as if he/she were there as well.

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