Herbert, in his essay directly addresses the reader. The reader is part of a conversation for Herbert and he directly addresses the reader throughout his essay. The written word reads like a verbal conversation. Herbert is making an argument for the economic state of the nation in a nontraditionally constructed argumentative essay. The essay does an excellent job of presenting random facts about the state of the country that are intended to inflame the reader.
He transitions from sentence to sentence and paragraph to paragraph as if he is speaking, not writing. He begins sentences with words such as “However”, “Wherever” and “Right now”. Each paragraph is started with phrases and sentences that meant to induce shock or anger in the reader. “Consider this startling information,” (Herbert) or “The wreckage from the recession” (Herbert) are employed to engage and anger the reader just as Herbert is angry. Herbert wants the reader to be as outraged as he is at the current state of the nation.
The essay is only fifteen paragraphs long, and of the fifteen, three are single sentences and not traditionally developed three to five sentence paragraphs. The sentences as a paragraph are meant for the reader to pause and reconsider what they just read. They also serve to evoke emotion in the reader, “All we are good at is bulldozing money to the very wealthy.” (Herbert).
Herbert uses inflammatory sentences to open his paragraphs and then backs up his opinion with key facts. “We’ve become a hapless, can’t do society.” (Herbert) and “The wreckage from the recession” quickly engage the reader and stir up the reader’s emotions. Herbert does an excellent job of employing these devises in his piece which is intended to engage and anger the reader. With opening statements such as these, the reader wants to continue reading to see what fact will be presented to justify the anger.
Herbert, Bob. “Hiding from Reality.” The New York Times, 20 Nov. 2010.