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Rhetorical Analysis of Rachel Rumen’s “Remembering”
Most people have experienced good times and bad times. Remembering one’s good
memories plays a significant role in shaping one’s identity and thoughts. This is what Rachel
Naomi Rumen focuses on in her article “Remembering”. In her article, Rachel Rumen focuses on
telling the story of an Asian woman who was about to begin chemotherapy for ovarian cancer
but had a dark past that was characterized by actions that included her survival. The Asian
woman was only able to heal after remembering who she really was and remembering her good
side. Rachel Rumen’s message in the article is using memory as a way to shape one’s identity
and also heal. Rumen argues that it is only when people remember who they are that they can
heal. Rachel Rumen uses a combination of rhetorical strategies including the use of logos, ethos,
and pathos to convince the audience that her argument, about remembering oneself as a way to
heal, is compelling. This analysis evaluates how Rachel Rumen uses logos, pathos, and ethos
rhetorical strategies to support her idea that one can use their memories to shape their identities
as well as heal. However, her use of pathos works the best to support the main point in her article
because it appeals to the audience’s vulnerability to convince about the Asian’s woman past
experiences, and how she can use them to shape her identity and heal.
Rachel Rumen begins the article by using the ethos rhetorical strategy. The author
verifies her credibility by talking about her role as a cancer therapist. By doing so, Rumen shows
her audience that she is a credible source worth listening to. Introducing her expertise in handling
such matters convinces the audience about the main argument about using one’s memories to
heal and shape one’s identity. Rumen says that her work as a “cancer therapist often means
helping people to recognize the difference, to get off the treadmill of survival and to refocus their
lives” (Rumen 130). The use of ethos here sets the pace for the audience since it instills trust in
the audience to believe whatever follows in her story.
Rachel Rumen also uses logos as a rhetorical strategy in her article to support her point
about using one’s memories to heal. Rumen uses logic about the rose flower being a symbol of
the heart to support her claim. “The rose is one of the oldest archetypical symbols of the heart. It
appears in both Christianity and Hindu traditions and in many fairy tales ” (Rumen 134). Rumen
goes ahead and says that Ana was not aware that the rose was a symbol of the heart since she had
not heard the fairy tales or read the Christian or Hindu traditions. By appealing to reason, and
using facts about the rose flower, Rumen backs up her claim and convinces the audience through
the use of facts.
Rumen also uses pathos as a rhetorical strategy in her article “Remembering” to support
her main argument. By using pathos, Rumen attempts to appeal to the audience’s emotions as a
way to get them to agree with her main claim. Rumen uses pathos by creating vivid imagery of
the Asian woman’s experiences which arouse feelings of pity among the audience. Rumen
appeals to the audience’s vulnerability by talking about the death of the Asian woman’s parents
and this helps convince the audience more about the main argument of the article. “When at last
they had gone and she ventured from hiding she had seen that her family had been beheaded.
That was the beginning. I was horrified ” (Rumen 131). The audience develops feelings of pity
towards the Asian woman, seeing that she had gone through too much pain, and this may be the
reason she is ruthless even in business. To survive, the woman had to be ruthless. The author
continues to use vivid imagery to describe how the Asian woman survived and live with this
darkness inside her. By sharing the personal life of the Asian woman, the audience feels
empathetic for her. This connection with the personal life of the Asian woman convinces the
audience that Rumen’s argument is a compelling one.
The appeal to emotion (pathos) seems to be the most convincing, mainly because the
author has used the Asian woman’s past experiences as a way to appeal to the vulnerable
audience. Pathos as a rhetorical strategy in Rumen’s article is the most convincing because it is
the most used strategy. Rumen uses pathos to describe the Asian woman’s life which is full of
tragedy and this makes the reader empathetic. The audience may compare the Asian woman’s
experiences with their own life experiences, and then try to remember who they are. Appealing
to the audience’s vulnerability, in this case, seems to be the most convincing way to make the
audience agree with the author’s claims.
In conclusion, it is evident that Rachel Rumen used a variety of rhetorical strategies in
her article “Remembering” including ethos, logos, and pathos to support her main idea that one
can use their memories to shape their identities and to heal. Her use of pathos as a rhetorical
strategy was the most convincing since it was the most used strategy throughout the article and
because it appealed to the audience’s empathy and vulnerability to make them agree with the
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