Vanatge Rhetorical Anaylysis

In Natasha Trethewey’s poem Vantage, the poet introduces the historical context of her poem, the moon landing. An event that shifted the public’s view from the injustices in the world, “even the photographs seem to show a nation united, the old divisions nearly gone from view. How easy it is to overlook what’s there, to forget what is not.” Natasha Tretheway juxtaposes two events that carry polar opposite connotations. She discusses how united the nation seems to be after an event that makes history for America while also sheds light to that ever since she was three years old, she’s been familiar with the N-word, The day of the moon landing wasn’t important or memorable to her, but it “was a day without the word.” Trethewey utilizes pathos to invoke empathy. Trethewey uses her personal experience and trauma of racial injustice and prejudice to educate the audience of her life and the lives of other African Americans in the late sixties. Tretheway reveals that the N-word was a word she was familiar with since she was as young as three years old. In addition, she discusses how the day of the moon landing was a day that her family can be at peace, a day “without the word.” Trethewey uses her tragic personal experiences to show the audience that her innocence was tarnished by racial injustices, and how her family very frequently experienced racism anywhere they went. Even places as ordinary as the grocery store.

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