This Rhetorical Analysis of Make This Natural treasure a National Monument, written for the New York Times by Jimmy Carter, published on December 29th, 2000, will explain how the author used genre, presence, resemblance arguments, connotations, and evidence.
Although Alaska is known for its beautiful scenery and diverse wildlife, it is also known for its considerable number of oilfields. During the presidential race of 2000, the debate of what should happen to all the potential oil rigs was prevalent. Many House and Congress officials were in support of building these oil rigs and giving up the Wildlife Refuge.
President Jimmy Carter, in this article, urges President Bill Clinton to react fast and preserve the beautiful and diverse wildlife that is in the Alaskan Plains. Carter voices how visiting and seeing the Plains was a life changing and humbling experience. He says, him and his wife were reminded of the, human dependence on the natural world.(CARter,2000) The Article concludes with a call to action.
Carter invokes the strong and forward-thinking work of Teddy Roosevelt, who established a strong wilderness preservation and national parks program. Alaska presents an opportunity for the new president to establish similar programs in this new frontier.
Jimmy Carter wrote this article in order of the presidential debate of 2000. He noticed that many of the candidates were for building oil rigs in the Alaskan coastal Plains, which he though would be a bad thing because it would kill the diverse fauna and tundra. It is an opinion piece, because Carter explains his personal opinion on why it should be made into a national monument.
Somebody who might read this would be someone who has not formed their own opinion on this topic and are trying to get different perspectives on it. But it also might be read by somebody who already has an opinion on the topic and either wants to see other perspectives or wants to validate their opinion. The audience might already know about the debate and the danger for the wildlife that would come with the oil rigs. The audience might feel the same way as Jimmy Carter, they want to preserve the Plains as a national monument and keep it safe from the oil industry.
Carter uses presence to his advantage; he describes what he and his wife Rosalynn saw vividly and makes it feel like the reader is right there in the Alaskan coastal plains. He does this so that if a neutral or hostile audience would read the article, they probably would be more receptive because of its descriptiveness. Carter, for example, says: Sadly, we were also forced to imagine what we might see if the caribou were replaced by smoke-belching oil rigs, highways and a pipeline that would destroy forever the plain’s delicate and precious ecosystem.(Carter, 2000) He makes it easy for the reader to envision a scene that turns beautiful and valuable wildlife, to a smoke-belching (Carter, 2000), ugly, and dull environment. Carter is trying to make his text as descriptive and present as possible, he is trying to convince the reader that the Nature should be preserved and not destroyed. Making something seem present means to describe something in detail, in order for the audience to feel like they are in that specific scenario. In my opinion, Jimmy Carter used presence well, the audience can really imagine a scene of a beautiful environment turned into an ugly and almost miserable environment.
Resemblance arguments is something that an author uses to compare something to something that the reader already knows, to make the actual topic more understandable. One resemblance argument that Carter uses: The roar alone [ ] would pollute the wild music of the Arctic and be as out of place there as it would be in the heart of Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon. (Carter, 2000), describes how wrong it would be to base oil rigs in the Grand Canyon or the Yellow Stone National Park, and that it would be just as wrong to base one or several in the Alaskan plains.
Jimmy Carter uses connotations throughout his article, a connotation is a word with a specific meaning. So, it could even be the synonym of a word but still make it seem better or worse than the other word. One example of connotation in Jimmy Carters Article is: To the north lay the Arctic Ocean; to the south, rolling foothills rose toward the glaciated peaks of the Brooks Range. At our feet was a mat of low tundra plant life, bursting with new growth, perched atop the permafrost. Carter makes it seem like the whole area is wide and expansive, and not tight and restricted. The roar alone — of road-building, trucks, drilling and generators, when he says roar the audience can automatically hear the sound of the machinery listed further into the text. The audiences reaction to this article and these connotations could be that they now can really imagine how wide and expansive, and beautiful the nature is now, but that that could change as soon as the oil-drilling starts. That it would change to a loud, and ugly area that nobody would want to see. Jimmy Carter, in my opinion, finds the right words to really invoke the feelings in the audience. He uses words everybody can relate to, and feel what he means, and what he is trying to describe.
One way for an author to create impressions would be to use evidence. The author can choose specific evidence that will make the audience perceive the topic in one specific way. For example, Jimmy Carter in his article Make This Natural Treasure a National Monument, does not really use numbers as evidence, he uses well-known facts and personal experience. The simple fact is, drilling is inherently incompatible with wilderness. (Carter,2000), here he goes on about how the drilling, and all the machinery used, is really loud. This seems to be an obvious fact, but he still feels the need to write it. In is article because not enough people care about it yet. The audience might have not realized what all the noise could do to the wildlife, how irritating it is for those animals. Now that they now, they might change their opinion on oil rigs in the Alaskan Plains, but they also might be so manifested in their belief that humans are superior and do not have to care about the wildlife of this earth. Some part of the audience might feel guilty about their prior believes; some might have already felt the same way that Carter does. Since Carter does not state exact numbers, some people might say his facts are not real, and rather fake. The author was rather successful with his use of evidence. Open-minded people will see that he cares about the environment and that this matter is very dear to his heart. And the audience might change their opinion on the matter, because of the way Carter uses evidence.