Overall, I really enjoyed reading American Born Chinese. I thought it was funny and kept me interested by changing stories. I was confused at first when the stories all meshed together because I didn’t really see it coming. I saw the parallels in all three stories, but I didn’t think that Yang was going to make it all into one story. I was really surprised to see Wei-Chein as the monkey. I thought it was pretty random, but after it made sense and I thought it was pretty comical. I don’t think that this story would fit in any other format besides this but I might be biased towards the comic. I don’t think that I could visualize the story if it were in a book form. The pictures and the small details really helped to open my eyes to the story and i don’t think I would have the same opinion if the it was not a comic. I think that the way Yang threw the three stories together could’ve been a little more clear and detailed, it almost seemed like he wanted to end the book. It flew together well though all in all. I think I am able to fully understand visual rhetoric and all of its quirks and details.
When we were getting ready to read this comic book, I was unsure of what to think about it. I have never read a comic book before so I thought that I would have trouble understanding the humor, what the pictures meant and how to read all of the words. But as I have read American Born Chinese, I have really enjoyed it. I find wanting to read it, and every time I do I end up laughing out loud. In class I like how we discuss it and someone always points out a little detail I don’t notice and it all clicks together. I like that it is bright and colorful and it keeps your mind active by changing to different stories. He also has many parallels that all tie the three different stories together. They are all dealing with oppression and stereotypes that are closely related. i think that it shows an accurate depiction of stereotypes throughout the entire book. The author Gene Luen Yang has a creative outlook on the way he adds details in his book. I like that he sneaks in stereotypes in his drawings, like when Chin-knee moves in all of his luggage is in Chinese to-go boxes. He really opens the reader’s eyes to how often non-looking Americans get criticized for their background and culture. It really makes you think about all of the oppression that people have to deal with just because they look different.
At first when the assignment was given, I was nervous about making a google maps because I am not very tech-savvy. After we were given examples in class, I started to feel a bit better about it. I think that it was a nice and different learning experience. It was easy and quick to figure out which was surprising as well. I liked that you could be more creative with it instead of just writing an informal paper. You can even add pictures too which makes it even more visibly enjoyable and helpful. The only problem I had with the google map is that I feel like I couldn’t figure out how to get each different location to flow through the next. It was difficult to make it seem like a paper instead of just describing the location. I don’t think I added things like an introduction or a conclusion but instead just described what happened at each place. I do think that using the google maps made it more personal and more eye catching. It is visual rhetoric which steers away from the traditional story telling paper. I think that everyone seemed to enjoy the project more as a whole and didn’t feel as pressured because it didn’t have to be this paper with rules. It was more flexible and easy going but yet still interesting.
Visual rhetoric uses forms of communication through visual contexts. We use visual rhetoric every single day without realizing it. It has become an important part of modern day communication and culture. It first started with things like ads and posters, moving to the radio and film. As we read through the daily newspaper, we see visual rhetoric there through the pictures and the captions underneath describing the picture to form it all together. Since we have become a technological based community, we see visual rhetoric every time we log onto a laptop or look at social media on an Iphone. it comes in handy pretty often, especially when we are trying to use a more artistic way to express feelings or thoughts. We have the ability to use pictures to do so while adding words or captions to explain further. We can also use logos from visual rhetoric. It adds to articles in magazines for example. A lot of the time, if you are reading an article in a magazine, you will notice that there is some type of picture there to go along with it. You will see that it can add some helpful information or just add emotion to the words. Film is visual rhetoric based since everything is played on a screen. You follow the entire story using visual rhetoric. It is even in small details around, for example ads hanging around Panera have pictures of bread as the background and that week’s newest menu choice. We are constantly using visual rhetoric and it is important to learn about.
HOLOCAUST IN POLAND
1. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, was a major center for Jewish life. It was a city of over 1.3 million inhabitants and constituted over 30% of Poland’s population. It is located on the Vistula River and has become a very global city in Europe. On September 1, 1939, Poland’s biggest city, Warsaw, was bombed and attacked by the German troops. The Germans would start attacking from the north, south and west parts of Poland, killing thousands of individuals. Just a few weeks later, Warsaw would surrender to the Germans and the troops would start to invade. This was the beginning the Holocaust for Poland. The Germans would start to make the Jews where the white armbands with a blue Star of David, this helped the Germans be able to recognize Jews quicker in any part of the country. They closed the Jewish schools, confiscated Jewish-owned property and forced Jewish men into labor.
2. On October 12, 1940 the Germans would establish the first ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. This required all jewish reisdents of Waraw to move into a designated area. There were about 400,000 people crammed into one ghetto that was 1.3 square miles and an average of 7 people per room (Holocaust Encyclopedia np). The ghetto was completely covered in barbed wire and closely guarded. The people living in the ghettos were struggling to survive. There were some organizations that would try to help within the ghetto by attempting to keep people alive. The people living there were suffering from starvation, exposure and diseases. The food given to the Jews did not meet the need of being able to have a sustained life. About 83,000 people, including children, starved to death (Holocaust Encyclopedia np). People were trying their best to smuggle helpful items into the ghetto, but Germans made it near impossible.
On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most moving and brave men in our history, was shot to death in Memphis, Tennessee. He was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel by James Earl Ray from Missouri. There was a search for Ray, and finally two months later he was found and thrown in jail, where he would serve for the rest of his life. Many people, including Dr. King’s family believed that Ray was apart of a conspiracy that involved the US government. There have been many cases to try and prove this theory. Dr. King was used to the death threats that were constantly being thrown at him for his beliefs and for the way he fought for peace for the African Americans. Dr. King’s entire movement was based around using nonviolent ways to make a change that would be positive for everyone. After, people started to open their eyes to the violence and some other black leaders would try to use nonviolence acts. After his assassination, Robert F. Kennedy gave a speech for Dr. King. People were hysterical, and the government was afraid that people were going to start breaking out in riots. But the people that were working with Dr. King called for nonviolent reactions to the assassination, mainly for respect of Dr. King’s beliefs. Two days later, his funeral would be held and 300,000 would gather to mourn the loss.
After finishing the first writing assignment for this english class, I can say I feel relieved. Starting the year off with a personal narrative is easier than jumping right into an analysis. I think after learning about the different rhetorical appeals, I was more aware while I was writing my story. That is something we barely touched over in high school, so I never had to think about those. I think that I need some more guidance on how to insert some of the appeals more smoothly while writing, like logos and kairos. I do not necessarily think that the things we have learned in class thus far have helped me become a better writer because we have not really applied them or practiced them, we have just gone over them. As we prepare for our next assignment, I think we will practice them more but as for now I was just aware when I was using an appeal. I hope to see my writing improve as the year progresses. When we start to write analyses, I hope to be able to feel comfortable enough to use the different concepts we have learned in class and have them fit well into my paper instead of sticking them out so obviously, which would happen now if I tried. I am glad we were able to write a personal narrative and relate them to rhetoric, so now we are more prepared for the tasks to come.
Examples of rhetoric always come in the form of an ad or a commercial for a product or some form of help. A commercial made in Thailand had children go up to adults who were smoking and asked them for a lighter to use for the child’s cigarette. Every adult told the children no and explained to them that smoking is bad for them. Then the children would hand the smoker a pamphlet that said “You worry about me, but why not about yourself?” that also included a hotline number for help. The message was to get adults to think about their actions for smoking. The writer is a campaign that is against smoking and the audience is pointed at the smokers so it all fits together. The writers use pathos by using the children to get the point across. If an individual saw a child trying to smoke a cigarette, it is something that could cause emotion. It also is used as an attention grabber to get the point of the commercial across. The writer also uses logos because it seems illogical for a child to ask someone to light their cigarette for them, so the smoker would then tell the child how harmful it is. By doing this, the writers wanted to show that the smokers know what they are doing to their body, but they do not stop. At the end of the commercial, when the children give the smokers the pamphlet, most of them put down their cigarette and walked away with the pamphlet in their hand. The children’s impact really made them think about the consequences of smoking cigarettes.
I think that the author mainly uses pathos in this piece. He talks about how he first learned how to read on his own and described how hard his childhood was to make us feel bad for him or relate to him. He didn’t have a lot of money and describes it, which is using pathos. He says, “We lived on a combination of irregular paychecks, hope, fear, and government surplus food” (Alexie 75). I think that this is using an emotional appeal because it is something that makes me feel emotions toward his situation, I have felt those same living conditions for many years. He makes his piece relatable by using pathos. He also says at the end “I am trying to save our lives”. I think he is using emotional appeals throughout to show how important books and reading are to him. He also describes the reservations that he came from, which i think would be using logos. This is logical because you can get a better understanding of where he came from and why. I think that the author used the appeals effectively. He tries to come across as tough and intelligent, but by doing so he also lets in some emotions to show that once felt fear and worry of how he was going to get his next meal or if he was going to get an education. He did a good job using the pathos appeal to make a good story. I think that if i wrote a piece like this, I would add more emotions, like humor instead of just talking about how strong he felt at the time. I would also tie in some fear as well; being a child and not knowing if your parents can afford food or school can be something that is scary. Alexie does use pathos in his own way.