Rhetorical Analysis of Barbra Ehrenreich’s “Cultural Baggage”
First Year Writing Seminar II
EN106, Ms. Wilcox
Barbra Ehrenreich’s “Cultural Baggage” essay found in Greene and Lidinksy (2012), expresses the author’s views on traditional values that come from a family’s heritage. Ehrenreich is motivated to write about this subject because her way of being raised was challenged. She was raised to find new things to try, and not succumb to the mindset of just accepting something because it’s always been there. Her Father said, “’think for yourself’ and ‘always ask why’” (Ehrenreich, 2012, p. 1). The purpose of the content is to show Barbra Ehrenreich’s disconnection from holding family traditions, and then argues that it’s not a necessity for every family to pass down traditions. Barbra insists that people from very traditional based religions will be disappointed and appalled that her family is always looking for new things to try (Ehrenreich, 2012). In the author’s opinion, there is nothing wrong for not following, or neglecting to start, family traditions. Ehrenreich’s biggest claim in her essay is that she steadfastly disagrees with recurring traditions and expresses her intent for individuality in her family. She made a statement at the end of the essay saying, “My chest swelled with pride, as my mother’s would have, to know that the race of ”none” marches on” (Ehrenreich, 2012, p. 3). This shines light on the fact that they are a happy family with out traditions and have no intentions of ever adopting any. Also, Ehrenreich (2012) goes on to explain that her Grandmother would suggest that just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s right, or necessary to continue. Barbra is satisfied and proud to announce “none” as her ethnic background and “none” for her traditions. Barbra has a tone in the paper that exemplifies an informal conversation among women; particularly mothers. Her intention was to target mothers because she is...
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