Mr. USA is an Assessment report written by Mary Pipher PhD, who is a psychologist who works for the University of Nebraska. She has written at least six books. One of them is "Writing to change the world," the part of the book I chose to dissect for rhetorical analysis is an assessment report of Mr. USA that the writer is making in the book. The larger conversation in the report is about how Mr. USA is perceived by other nations. Which nations are allies of the U.S.A.? Among the most important questions to consider in this assessment are how the relationships with its allies used to be, how it has been changed in recent years, as well as what caused these changes. The writer raises many important questions and pushes the reader to think about them. Mary Pipher campaigns to be less violent and is trying to put an effort to reunite the country.
In the introduction Mary Pipher is telling the reader how depressed and alarmed about the state of the world she was. This caused her to think of writing about the United States as her client. The writer obviously cares about the country very deeply. She has some hope in seeing changes in the country. She also mentions that she is looking for reconciliation and cooperation. She is a writer and she has a strong voice and believes in expressing her voice on paper in order to make people think and make changes. The call to write is how the writer describes herself, she was alarmed and depressed about conditions in the world and wanted to change the conversation in the country. She obviously wants Mr. USA to be more self-aware about his actions and how it affects others. She also urges the reader to share their own stories to connect to the great universal human stories. She calls-up to accept the mistakes in order to recover from "illness".
Mary Pipher PhD in her assessment report on Mr. USA in the book" Writing to Change the World," convinces her audience that United States is suffering from a psychological disorder and needs to make behavior changes and heal from historical moments in life of the U.S. To show the audience effectively the depth of the problem she chose to transform the U.S into a person. Being a psychologist herself she found an excellent metaphor to evaluate the United States as an individual, as her client. Also, transforming the United States into an individual makes her qualification to discuss the topic so much greater. She is not a politician discussing political issues and winning an argument, which would be a lot harder. Being a professional in the field of Psychology has raised her credibility. This is how she established an appeal to ethos.
Further, I would like to bring the light on who is intended to be the audience. Who does the writer want to reach with her story? I think she targets the concerned citizens of the United States the most. Then, she wants to bring the issues to the attention to those readers who are not aware of the realities happening in the world and the country at the time. The way she writes about the topic, I can assume she is trying to make the text accessible to everyone. She doesn't use many professional terms which could identify with a different audience. She is writing about complex problems using the simple words to describe the problem. That confirms my thoughts about persuading a wide audience. The author is using a metaphor in presenting the United States as a person, in other words Mr. United States of America has an appointment at the psychologist office. Creating such a metaphor allows the writer to evaluate Mr. USA as an individual. Being a psychologist herself she knows the protocol of psychological analysis.
The author claims Mr. USA has a psychological disorder displayed in many forms such as several addictions, such as video game playing, gambling and shopping. As a result it affected his overall health and he is struggling with hypertension, poor vision, and a sluggish metabolism. She uses rhetorical strategy by using appeals such as logos and pathos where she shows the reader the problem and at the same time is trying to appeal to the readers emotions by pointing out the health problem as an outcome resulted after making all the bad choices. The writer claims that the "mental impairments are stress related and with therapy and better lifestyle choices could be reversed." In that statement she is trying to make a point that many Americans have a lot of stress in their lives which makes Americans moody and restless. This is an example of cause and effect, here Mary Pipher demonstrates logo appeal with an example of how bad lifestyle choices affect the overall health and result in psychological disorder. The author believes in healing therapy and healthy choices that could reverse unhealthy tendencies. Then she describes the complex personality traits that sometimes help Mr. USA and sometimes get him in trouble.
Also, the author describes Mr. USA as "an aggressive person who chooses violence instead of peaceful resolution, and justifies antisocial behavior." This is another claim the writer makes in her attempt to persuade the audience and use of rhetorical strategy using ethos appeals to the audience through making a strong voiced claim. In 2004 when this letter was written the United States was involved in the controversial war in Iraq. As a result many people around the globe felt the war in Iraq was no more than muscle-flexing. The author is trying to voice her opinion on the war and again the effects of the war could be translated as lack of supporters or friends. Mr. USA was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and several addictions. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder reminds us of what happened on September 11, 2001. When the whole country was in a deep grief, the emotions were high, people realized how vulnerable they were and a call of action had to be made. The writer demonstrates her knowledge in this area in terms of emotional grief stages, as the victim of terrorist attack Mr. USA has to work through all stages of grief which are denial, anger, resolution and acceptance. This is an appeal to ethos through knowledge of the topic she is talking about. When the writer speaks about rule out delusions she refers to how Mr. USA is perceived in other parts of the world. Also I've noticed she says, "perhaps," so that tells me she is not certain, but she thinks that. Talking about delusions made me think it was more of an emotional thought rather than an objective statement.
Next, is where I see the purpose of written text and where the writer applies pathos from Aristotle's theory. She is appealing to her audience through making a connection between working progress on personality traits and actions that matter. Where the author starts talking about how seeing the therapist could benefit Mr. USA. First, he needs to find his identity, which is not associated with sports and wars. She is bringing up a good point about action that matters, willingness to cooperate and hopes for reconciliation. The author is looking to reunite with the rest of the world. It will take a lot of hard work in order to achieve that goal. When she is talking about the progress milestones she is carried away with the dreams of the perfect world in her own mind. The perfect world she describes makes me wonder if that even is possible anywhere in the world and could be read as use of pathos as it appeals to reader's emotions.
An assessment report on Mr. USA in my opinion is a very effective way to reach the audience through the transformation of the United States of America into an individual who is visiting a psychological practice. The writer made the reader believe it was a real person with strengths and weaknesses. As any other individual Mr. USA enjoyed good times and suffered through bad times in his history. Whether an individual made an appointment to a psychologist or not he would have to go through the same stages of grief as anyone who is undergoing a process of loss. The purpose of the writing that could be seen in the end of the assessment, the call to reunite the world, sounds very inspiring and something that many people felt was needed at the time.