Type: Review
Pages: 4 | Words: 921
Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Elizabeth Wong’s thesis in her article “The Struggle to be an All-American Girl” capture the various aspects of life in Los Angeles’ Chinatown sufficiently based on the rhetorical choices she made. She is a Chinese woman bred in America in China Town, a place where the cultures of her country of origin prevail significantly. The thesis of her article is that the Chinese Culture does not suit a person growing within the US. She incessantly cries for the relief from the bindings of Chinese culture in its various forms. Furthermore, she endorses the American way of living as being better than the Chinese lifestyle. This shows that she abhors the Chinese cultures. She has put the few aspects of Chinatown that she can within the article with a vivid analysis with rhetorical skills that strengthen her argument. She explains her theme with a significant use of appropriate rhetorical devices that bring out her opinion in a heart-felt manner.

The audience of the article is the American society that has no relation or recognition of the Chinese culture that prevails in her former American residence that uplifted Chinese cultures. This is evident in the final paragraph of the where she addresses the audience that she would like to be like them, as illustrated in the statement “At last I was one of you; I was not one of them”. This proves that the American citizens that lived along American cultures were the key audience for Wong’s article.

The article sheds light on the way people live within the Los Angeles’ Chinatown. Furthermore, the article aims to persuade the reader to agree to the fact that the bicultural nature of their lifestyle is unbearable. This comes with the vivid description of the details of life within the area starting from education, family relations and the reaction of society to the people from the region. The descriptions do not bear information supportive of the way of life in the region. The writer detests of numerous details within Chinatown persuading the readers to agree that it is not a proper place to live in at all.

The use of diction and syntax in the article conveys the otherwise simple issues in Wong’s culture in a deep manner that makes the reader empathize with her pain. The use of Chinese slang such “moc but” related the reader to the archaic nature of the education system within Chinatown. This makes the reader relate to the manner in which the education system is archaic in nature. Concrete words used within the article bring out the firmness of the issue at hand. The word “public” used to describe the Chinese language shows exactness. It leaves no chance for second thought due to the finality of having a one-word sentence. The use of syntax also creates a firm basis on which Wong supports her thesis. The declarative sentences exuded a confidence in the thesis that undoubtedly convinces the readers. The sentence “Chinese sounded pedestrian” leaves no chance for an argument as it is stated factually.

The article has adopted a resenting attitude of the culture that the Chinese take on within the US. She shows her distaste for the culture by the use of words and sentences extensively to create a detesting tone. “The language was a source of embarrassment” is a statement within the article that elucidates the magnitude of her hatred of the culture. This has aided in the strengthening of the thesis by making the reader feel the distaste of the author and eventually adopting it. A mocking tone is also evident within the article as Wong describes the Chinese language as being gibberish, and also as she says that those who it speak eat appear to be mad. Moreover, the inability of Wong’s mother to pronounce her own name is shed in a mocking light. This rhetoric strategy brings out the ridiculousness of the culture that prevails in Chinatown.

The use of ethos in the article brings out the confidence of Wong in her thesis. For instance, in the statement, “My language was a source of embarrassment”, the authority in it leaves no doubt on the writer’s opinion. The use of pathos within the article appeals to the readers that relate to what Wong is trying to put across. The literary works that she puts down as her favorite are popular to the audience of the article (Nancy Drew, “Little Women” and “Black Beauty”). These works appeal to the emotion of the readers, and thus emphasize her thesis. The use of these literary works, her knowledge of the satellites of Mars and multiplication tables are an instance of logos. This rhetoric device showed the lack of logic behind using the archaic and hard-to-use “moc but” while the things that she needed to know were at her finger tips.

The use similes and metaphors within the article make the readers relate to the situation in Chinatown, and thus enable them to empathize with Wong to accept her thesis. She used a simile likening her classroom to Chinese medicine, ancient mothballs and dirty closets. These similes try to explain the grim nature of the school in a way that the reader can relate to in their different lifestyle. This creates an understanding of the description that the author strives to convey.

Conclusively, Elizabeth Wong’s rhetorical strategies were on point in gunning for her thesis. She involves the reader in detailed descriptions of her culture and its flaws. This makes the reader highly convinced that, indeed, adapting to living in America was extremely hard for her.

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