This is an article last updated on February 22, 2008. It was written by Melissa del Bosque, she titled it the Holes in the wall. The article she published was agitating for the rights of the people who were residing along the Texas Border. The title Holes in the Wall clearly indicates the major argument in the article. The people residing along the Texas Border were under threat of their landownership by the government and people with private interest. Their claims were the fairness of the building of the border wall to prevent illegal immigrants that secluded other residential houses and private properties while other residential apartments for the less fortunate were targeted for their destruction in their place eventual construction of the border wall. The author of this article uses the rhetorical appeals, that is the Pathos, Ethos and Logos to persuade the audience targeted to listen to the pleas of the less fortunate residents along the Texas Border.
Summary of the argument
The major argument in this article is an issue that has conflicting interests. These conflicting interests brings together the haves and the have not’s. The construction of the Texas Border fence to prevent illegal immigration was the motion among the congressmen, behind the scenes it seems there were some people who were the master minds of these Texas Border wall to achieve the ill interests at the expense of the less fortunate residents who resided and owned land along the Border. The argument was; the residents were filing claims to defend their homes that were targeted for destruction to give way for the building of the wall. Their claim was for an optional border for the wall like the bridge.
In the congress there were some who were for the residents and voted against the construction while some voted for the construction to defend the interest of the people or the allies the colluded with to achieve their personal interests. While there were the people with power to influence the construction of the wall, there are some people who the like of the residents who relied at the mercy of the information they acquired from the Homeland security.
The writing of this article targeted a range of audience. A part from the indirect audience who are the rest of the citizens to hear out the grievances their fellow citizens are facing. The direct audience to this article is the politicians and the private business owners who are after the construction of the wall to secure and fulfill their own interests. The article was meant for them to hear the pleas of the individuals who believed their houses were to be brought down by the act of building of and to refrain from doing that or look for an alternative option of securing the border to avoid the claimed control of immigrants across the Texas border.
Ethos is an analysis that relies on the standing/character of the author in the context in which he/she is writing. In this article the rhetorical appeal of ethos is achieved through the language used and how it is used. In this article, there are some facts that are used to exhibit the character of the author in his reputation in so far as the construction of the fence along the Texas Border is concerned. Ethos analysis is exuded whereby the authors interests are not know in the article. He has a clean reputation by not taking sides in the argument.
“…Along the border, preliminary plans for fencing seem to target landowners of modest means and cities and public institutions such as the University of Texas at Brownsville, which rely on the federal government to pay their bills…” In this context, he used a very friendly language as if he is not sure of the true intentions behind the constructions of the wall, but at the same time he identifies the possible target behind the construction of the wall.
“…Some of these private contractors even work for companies that are business partners of Boeing, the company they are supposed to be overseeing...” the author doesn’t incline himself to one side of the argument. Through this the author uses factual evidences to maintain his reputation as someone neutral in the argument.
Logos is based on the judgmental/motive of the context of the article. The article tries to employ some aspect of logical reasoning to come up with a conclusion or an alternative that could serve the interest of all or to bring into light the negative acts that should not be applied against the residents living along the Texas Border.
“….Garza points to a field across the street where a segment of the proposed 18-foot high border wall would abruptly end after passing through his brick home and a small, yellow house he gave his son. All that land over there is owned by the Hunts, he says, waving a hand toward the horizon. The wall doesn’t go there…” This shows the reasoning behind the destruction Garza’s land only the wall to just end a few miles away because of the personality who owns that property that the wall is to go through. This argument shows some aspect of reasoning whereby instead of destroying once property to construct a wall through it, only for the wall to end a few miles way is unfair, why not consider revising it and consider both personalities and see the way forward to satisfy both parties interests.
“…While the border wall will go through her backyard and effectively destroy her home, it will stop at the edge of the River Bend Resort and golf course…It has a golf course and all of the amenities, Tamez says. There are no plans to build a wall there. If the wall is so important for security, then why are we skipping parts?” The writer tries to exude some level of logical reasoning in this context. The government agency concerned with the Wall construction claimed that the border fence was meant to reduce or control the level of illegal immigration taking place along the border, if it is so, then why not construct a solid wall by not skipping some parts.
This a rhetorical appeal that influences the emotions this is done by putting the readers/audience of the articles to a state of response to what has been said. This has been immolated in the article by the use of the individual stories.
“Tamez, a nursing director at the University of Texas at Brownsville, is one of the last of the Spanish land grant heirs in Cameron County… the federal government took more than half of her inherited land, without paying a cent, to build flood levees.” This has been used to put the audience to a state where they can put themselves in that victims shoes and try to imagine themselves in the same situation. Hence they pity the individual and try to avoid the repetition of an act that hurts other people or put them in a miserable situation.
“..I am an old man. I have colon cancer, and I am 76 years old, Garza says, resting against a tree in front of his home. All I do is worry about whether they will take my home. My wife keeps asking me, what are we going to do?” This describes the status in which this person is in, and at the same time the destruction of his residential home to construct in its place the Texas Border fence will cause more harm to the man with the wife who has banked her hopes on the capability of the husband to influence the Homeland Security, yet his hands are tied. A person reading this article might be touched by this section to reconsider what he/she was intending to do.
The article is generally a write-up that had an intention of airing the views of the landowners along the Texas Border. Their reach has been limited, and the author published this to air out what is going on along the Texas border and to the limelight for the public to be knowledgeable. By the use of the writing techniques of Pathos, Ethos and Logos to capture the intended audience who are expected to react towards the same.
Bosque, M. (2008, February 21). Observer. Retrieved March 16, 2011, from Holes-in-the Wall: http://www.texasobserver.org/archives/item/15288-2688-holes-in-the-wall