'the Death of Benny Paret' Rhetoric Anaylsis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By pollacs
Words 594
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There is a difference between dying an honorable and noble death and simply dying. It is the gap between trying and giving up and it is the sense of the unbearable pleasure that comes along with success. In Norman Mailer’s “The Death of Benny Paret”, the author witnesses a first-hand account of the tragic death of the boxer, Paret. Through many rhetorical devices, Mailer is able to have an effect on his audience, allowing them to feel the same horror. Mailer uses diction to mold the events in a biased and respectful way. Using words like “inspired” to describe the kind of shame that Paret was creating by loosing makes his failure seem less crucial. Again, the author makes euphemisms through his word choice by saying that Paret “[fought] as if he were seeking to demonstrate that he could take more punishment than any man alive”, as if losing was an admirable quality. Instead of claiming that Paret was indeed being ruthlessly beaten by Griffith, his “excuse” that Paret was purposely demonstrating a skill had a smaller impact on Paret’s publicity. Through detail, the reader is able to sympathize the gruesome fight and eventual death of Paret. Mailer mentions that Griffith hit Paret “eighteen right hands in a row” in about “three or four seconds”. These details create imagery and allow the audience to imagine Paret’s situation. When Paret died, it seemed to last forever. The details of how Paret slowly died while Griffith was still punching him greatly affects the audience in that Paret was technically still fighting when he passed. Mailer also uses syntax to strongly tough the audience. The statement “Paret died on his feet” was different from his usual style of long, descriptive sentences. This makes it stand out more and is more compelling. His tone throughout the passage is prideful, mixed with a touch of disgust. Mailer simply states that Paret’s…...

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