Showdown at the Airport Body Scanner

Showdown at the Airport Body Scanner

  • Submitted By: tlusk1987
  • Date Submitted: 06/27/2013 12:56 AM
  • Category: Technology
  • Words: 1090
  • Page: 5
  • Views: 185

A rhetorical analysis deepens the understanding of an essay and explores an author’s writing by breaking down articles through the use of critical thinking. The goal of a rhetorical analysis is to articulate how Nathaniel Rich wrote the article “Showdown at the Airport Body Scanner”. To accomplish this, we have to identify the author’s purpose and determine the relationship between the author, subject and audience. I will also identify how Rich represents himself in the essay and uses ethos, analogy and authoritative testimony to validate and support his thesis.

The subject of this essay is the author’s opposition to walking through airport body scanners. The explicit thesis is that airport body scanners cause cancer. Air travelers should know the potential consequences of their decision to opt not to walk through body scanners and how it not only affects themselves, but also the people around them.

Rich’s purpose in writing this essay is to teach and to move. Rich starts his essay with his definition of a body scanner, the so called “cancer machine”. He wants to teach about the existing risks that body scanners pose. He states “I note that there is a correlation between radiation absorption over a lifetime and cancer rate. I tell them that an investigative report in 2011 by ProPublica and PBS NewsHour concluded that the X-ray scanners, then still in use, could cause cancer in 6 to 100 United States airline passengers every year, and that the European Union banned those machines because of health concerns”. Most travelers don’t think twice about this, because he states that they have no issue going through the body scanners. Rich attempts to move us by demonstrating his right to refuse to walk through the body scanner. He notes his encounters with TSA officials as something they “take personally” when the author chooses to “opt out”. He states “They sigh, they roll their eyes, they snort derisively. I always have the impression that, at some point in...

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