Symbols In Brent Staples's 'Just Walk On By'

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Symbols pertaining to how a person is seen have been placed around in our daily lives through the use of television, social media, and news. Everything and everyone around the world has a type of symbol attached to them. Brent Staples, author of “Just Walk on By,” addresses this topic through his own personal experiences. Staples builds his persona through the use of rhetorical devices such as imagery and personal anecdotes. Additionally, the author uses pathos to further his message and express his thoughts on the interpretation of symbols in today’s world. Through his establishment of a persona and pathos, Staples shows his audience how people judge at a single glance based on the attachment of symbols society places on them. Staples creates his persona through his use of imagery and personal anecdotes. These rhetorical devices help his audience differentiate who he actually is against what he has come to be viewed as by society. He uses imagery to embed how he appears to strangers on the street as a “youngish black man-- a broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair.” His use of imagery here shows his audience how he is seen and gives them an understanding of how he is depicted and why women are afraid of him. This image represents how society, or people on the street, view him as an imposing character they should avoid at all costs. The media places labels on…show more content…
As a result, this causes false impressions on those that surround them. Staples’ article clearly represents how this is done in a derogatory point of view. His use of rhetorical devices allow his audience to relate and comprehend clearly the symbolism certain things have. All in all, Staples’ uses rhetorical devices, such as persona and pathos, to properly portray his message on the truth behind society’s symbols: a misinterpretation on humans around the world that cause for rash judgement on each

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