Rhetorical Analysis Of In Richard Louv’s Last Child In The Woods

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In Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods, he argues the separation of people and nature has grown exceptionally and continues to grow every day. When the world was first discovered men used its natural resources to survive, however, society today has done the complete opposite by taking control of it and using it for our own selfish reasons. 

The use of many rhetorical devices such as rhetorical questions, anecdotes, and imagery helps Louv appeal to the audience and convince them that this separation has gone too far. When Lauv asked, “Why do people no longer consider the physical world worth watching?” He used rhetorical questioning to set up his main point about how nature is what he watched as a kid and now kids watch tv in the backseat of cars, this helps emphasize the severity of the separation of man and nature. The imagery created in this paragraph, such as “empty farmhouse” and “the woods and fields”, helps project the idea that once the nature a child could encounter he or she can no longer because of the advancements made in technology. 

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In the same paragraph, Lauv creates a situation where “someday we’ll tell our grandchildren stories about our version of the nineteenth century…” In doing this he created a feeling of what was, the relationship we once had with nature, and what it has become. By using the statement “continue to expand the opportunities for the,” he allows the reader to see the truth behind the lives we live and the irony in this situation. His two questions ( “who do people…” and “continue to expand the opportunities for the…”) helps the reader better understand that the natural world we live in is shifting into a more materialized and product-based one. 

The use of rhetorical questions helps the reader think into their own lives and question the different situations brought up, even helping them better understand his argument. By starting this piece with an anecdote it aids the point Lauv is making and to what extent this separation is really happening. The use of a personal story really highlights how much of nature we are actually losing. In the anecdote, he writes “ ‘The salesman jaw dropped when I said I didn’t want a backseat television…’ “ and then continues to explain that “ ‘He almost refused to let me leave…’ ” describing his friend’s personal experience. 

The use of direct quotations in conjunction with the anecdote confirms the confidence in his argument that we have been consumed by material things and “multimedia entertainment products.” This goes as far as targeting parents so they can enjoy “backseat peace” by including that children can watch tv and play video games. Together this speculates that humans would rather connect and be absorbed by technology rather than looking out and interacting with the natural world around us. 

This anecdote Lauv uses adequately contributes to the main claim that we tend to spend more time focused on technology or other items rather than focusing on nature and its natural beauty. The use of an anecdote allows the reader to sympathize for the author as a peer and even realize that a situation similar to his could’ve happened to them in the past. 

The use of rhetorical questioning, anecdote, and imagery all help illustrate Richard Lauv’s argument, in the Last Child in the Woods, that the separation of people and nature is a large and heavily fueled gap in the society we live in today. Lauv effectively conveys his point and successfully argues the issue with a heavily persuasive tone and language. As it continues to grow, the gap between people and nature is a worldwide issue and no one is doing anything to fix it. 


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