Read https://repositorio.ufsc.br/bitstream/handle/123456789/160332/A%20good%20man%20is%20hard%20to%20find%20-%20Flannery%20O%27Connor.pdf (Links to an external site.) and use the Toulmin Method to summarize the author’s argument while analyzing its effectiveness.
Remember that, this being a story, Stylistic Rhetoric will be the more useful method of analysis. Basically, Stylistic Rhetoric boils down to two main strategies that all other strategies fall under: Analogies and Anecdotes. We compare things to other things to create emotions, and we tell stories to make emotions. Both rely on empathy (the second-hand creation of emotions), and attempt to shape that empathy to suit their purposes. Don’t forget that with stylistic rhetoric, the rhetorical strategies generally exist to show meaning, rather than to convince the audience, but that doesn’t mean that stories and poems don’t have arguments. Don’t forget, as well, to give stories and poems a little more slack than research papers. If one hold them to the same standard of logic, then no story or poem could ever be effective (and that’s simply not the case).
However, most stories and poems can have multiple possible arguments. For instance, here’s four possible main Arguments for “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”
1. No one deserves to die, no matter how annoying.
2. Life doesn’t follow our preconceived ideas of justice and goodness.
3. There’s great danger in basing a society’s morality in its belief in God.
4. Life is pointless and terrible.
Since the story is ambiguous (not vague), any of these possible arguments (or a number of other ones) could be used as the Main Claim. Choose one, then argue how well the author (through Stylistic Rhetoric) evoked the correct emotions to convince the audience of these arguments. What emotions are evoked? How powerfully are they evoked (either through effectively emotionally powerful analogies or through powerful Loaded Language and Imagery)? Why are those emotions useful to the Main Claim? How would they help to convince the audience of the Main Claim? Once again, analyze about two different uses of Stylistic Rhetoric for this two-page paper.
You can also argue that this short story has no Main Claim, and that it is informative in nature, but that argument would have to be made just as rigorously as the other four possible arguments.
Let me know if you have any questions on the assignment.
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