“The homeis the wellspring of personhood. It is where our identity takes root andblossoms, whereas children, we imagine, play, and question, and as adolescents,we retreat and try.
As we grow older, we hope to settle into a place to raise afamily or pursue work. When we try to understand ourselves, we often begin byconsidering the kind of home in which we were raised” (Desmond 2016, 293). Evictions! The root ofpoverty? Matthew Desmond’s novel “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in AmericaCity, portrays the lives of tenants, landlords, and house marketing on thepoorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee. Desmond gives the reader overwhelmingevidence and revealing testimony illustrating the major impact of inadequatehousing on individuals, local, and national level. Desmond’s analysis andobservation of his case study enables him to portray the reality of poverty,and to persuade the readers that evictions are a major consequence, and primarycontributors in the unending cycle of poverty. Desmond build his argument usingtwo Aristotelian rhetorical appeals, ethos, logos and inductive reasoning toillustrates the importance of ending the cycle of poverty.Accordingto Alan G.
Gross and Arthur E. Walzer, ethos is a type of ethical appeal thatestablish the speaker’s credibility or character and expertise as persuasivetechniques (2000;134). In order to gain and reinforce his experience orexpertise Matthew Desmond employs ethos throughout, Evicted. Also, he usedethos to prove his knowledge on the subject, and to prove his reliability as asource, to induce readers to have similar conclusions about his argument. Infact, in attempt to construct credibility among his audience he introduces the”Author’s Note.” Although, the credibility of an author is only the perceptionof the viewer and rhetor’s capacity to successfully persuade his audience. TheAuthor’s Note acts as a disclaimer, basically introducing conditional terms,that Desmond considers necessary for the reader to understand his field ofwork.
For instance, “This is a work of nonfiction” (Desmond 2016; xi). Thisquote immediately set a specific focus and to why people should read Evicted.It also acts as a disclaimer, that stablish the reader’s interpretation byoutlining necessary evidence to successfully grip Desmond’s argument(s). The Author’s Note achieves afunction that is extremely important to author – reader relationship whenbuilding trust and credibility among these two individuals. Desmond developshis relationship when he said, “… all the events that occurred within that timeperiod were witnessed first-hand” (20016; xi).
Desmond, as the only author of evicted, it was extremely important toshow the reader that he lived these experiences himself and didn’t just gatherinformation from other sources. The way Desmond connect himself with the peoplein these neighborhoods made the reader realize that his integrity as atrustworthy advocated or source for covering the issue on the minority groupsand the continues cycle of poverty is a nonstop problem. Fundamentally,Desmond, reinforced his credibility by putting himself in unbearablesituations. In Addition, the Author’s Note further extend Desmondcredibility by illustrating his position and commitment to maintaintransparency and objectivity among his work, making the author’s note act as adisclaimer function. In order to get the reader to believe his work, Desmond isvery transparent with the sources and stories he gather during his research.
“…Allquotations were captured by a digital recorder or copied from officialdocuments. The names of tenants, their children, and their relatives, as wellas landlords and their workers have been changed to protect their privacy”(2016; xi). By reveling the specific measurements he used allowed Desmondestablished a high level of transparency among his audience. Also, hismeasurements and sources allowed him to prevent misinterpretations of his work.
The level of transparency that he creates among him and the audience, allowedhim to be a voice of honesty and revealer of truth. In the quote, Desmondillustrates why he wrote Evicted infirst person, he does it to enforce that he had no emotional attachment in theissue discussed, that could lead his research and conclusion as bias. Desmond’suse of footnotes provided significant trustworthiness for his audience becauseit yields a real- time- fact- checker throughout the book. For instance, if thereader feels skeptical about a claim, they can instantly be redirect to theoriginal source. As a result, readers doubting of such claim can easily accessthe footnotes for a further insight on the author’s argument. According, to SonjaK. Foss, “those that use persuasive writing from other sources but does notcreate or include, the testimony of witness and documents such as contracts andletters, tend to fail convince the reader to fully trust the author’s work” (2008;26).
Although including footnotes is not a neoclassical rhetorical appeal, it allowsthe author to create a visual confirmation of facts. Desmond include footnotesbecause one of the essential functions that footnotes had in Evicted was to give the reader thevalidation of external proof. This helped Desmond to strengthen his argument. Evicted is an external evidencethat can appeal to the audience’s rationality and reinforce the importance ofeviction and housing inequality as a major factor of poverty in the UnitedStates. Also, “Evicted” could be anextended version of logos, a rhetorical appeal which supports and helps developthe author’s argumentation and the evaluation of evidence that underlines andupholds the author’s thesis. According to Alan G.
Gross and Arthur E. Walzer, “logos is a logical appeal, that operates under theassumption that the audience is rational, and display the arguments in such away that will bring the readers to the desire conclusion” (2000;135).Therefore, Evited is organized in aspecific way, to give the reader(s) the concepts needed it to fully understandthe argument presented. Also, by rationalizing his main argument in a logical,sound, and comprehensible way. Desmond then shows how one content builds onanother, displaying how evictions contribute to the endless cyclical process ofpoverty. Despite the improvements in todays sociological advancements, Evicted is able to portray theirrationality which still remains in our current system and why it is flawed.
Inductive Reasoning, is used primarily by Desmond to providespecific examples to draw and facilitate a general conclusion among thereaders. To illustrate heartbreaking and unremarkable issues among poorfamilies, Desmond does a wonderful job following each individual and theirunique stories. He gives the readers unforgettable stories, but one that he used to exemplify the struggle of a poorfamily and how “poor families were often compelled to accept substandardhousing in the harried aftermath of evictions … and were also 25 percent morelikely to experience long-term housing problem than other low-income renters”(Desmond 2016;69), was when Doreen Hinkstons’ suddenly got evicted and endingon one of Sherrena’s low-quality complex. As a Sociologies Desmond uses the micro-level to represent one of themajor problem in the United States. Also, it doesn’t allow the reader to opposethe giving argument and conclusion.
Micro-Level is commonly use in sociology,the sociologist engages with individuals or families to solve the problems.Desmond didn’t solve the problem, yet he gave some reasonable proposals on howthe problems should be addressed. Eviction(s)! the cause(s) of poverty? The stories of thesepeople spoke for themselves.
Poverty is a hard topic, it makes people feeluneasy because it made them realize about how the system of America, whichsupposed to be (equal for all) is full of flaws, that aren’t being solve. Inequality is growing among the minoritygroups,