Words of Maggs


What influences our decision to pursue love?

We pursue love for ourselves. Love is not meant to be selfish and the fact that we pursue love based on our feelings doesn’t make it so. Love is an uncontrollable wave that either lets you along for the ride or drowns you instead; maybe even both. Regardless of how you interpret love is up to you, the pursuit is still for us. Some pursue love more vigorously than others, some have little control of love, our feelings, other’s feelings, we try to command it and force it to make up for our lack of control. In Toni Morrison’s Jazz, there is quite an odd love triangle: Violet and Joe are married, Violet loves Joe unconditionally, Joe loves Dorcas enough to kill her, and Dorcas loves Joe possessively. Each character’s pursuit of love supports the idea that we pursue love solely for ourselves. Although some parts of the book might seem extreme and suggests a sense of selfishness, it still resembles different types of love, but the same influence that decides if we pursue it which is ourselves.

Violet’s unconditional but yet problematic love for Joe is portrayed throughout Jazz, in flashbacks and present time. The very first paragraph of Jazz, Violet is mentioned. She is mentioned as the woman who shot and slashed the girl’s face who her husband was seeing. The rest of the story is centered around this statement. In a flashback Morrison has the narrator describe just how Violet felt the first time she encountered Joe. She writes, “His buttonless shirt open to a knot at the waist exposed a chest she claimed as her own smooth pillow. The shaft of his legs, the plane of his shoulders, jawline and long fingersshe claimed it all.” This is an example of one of the less callous pursuits of love described in Jazz. Here, it’s obvious she admired Joe in such a way that she wants him all to herself. She sees him in a way that is for herself. She claims him as her pillow and as everything she wants. This want for her feelings is what influenced Violet to pursue her love for Joe, which in turn led to their marriage and moving to the city. She couldn’t control her feelings but it was her desire and eagerness that helped persuade her into seeking out Joe’s love.

Joe Trace is a man in his late 50s who met Violet when he was very young. After getting married they moved to the city engulfed in their love. However, his issues with abandonment from his mother and his growing dissatisfaction with Violet led Joe to desire the young 18 year old, Dorcas. He tried to secure Dorcas’s affection by adoring her and giving her little gifts every time they met in secret. This satisfied Dorcas, and in turn Joe. In a journal piece about Jazz, specifically about Joe, written by Sahukar Protibha Mukherjee, she talks about Joe’s necessity to be with Dorcas to fulfill his own desires and reduce his own pain. She says, “In choosing Dorcas, Joe performs the gesture of recognition that he desired from his mother. Dorcas proves to be the end of change for Joe, and the beginning of new insight through which he struggles to establish and sustain a personal identity.” She goes on to talk about how Joe killed his teenage mistress in order to “preserve the feelings their affair has produced”. From the start, using the word ‘choosing’ automatically tells readers that Joe pursued Dorcas for a certain reason. This reason was personal to him, something he was struggling with, something he needed help with, something he chose Dorcas for. And in the end it worked; Dorcas proved to be the end and the start of something for Joe. So much so that when Dorcas left Joe thought the only option was to take her life to preserve the feelings she made him feel. This shows his pursuit for Dorcas’ love was for himself from start to finish. He did it for what he thought he could gain in the beginning and killed her in the end in hope of trying to control and command the feelings he couldn’t regulate which was Dorcas’ lust for a younger man.

Dorcas pursues her emotions mainly two times in Jazz; both are examples of how our own wants and desires influence our pursuit. Within Jazz Dorcas is portrayed as a rebelling 18 year old that rejects her aunt’s old-fashioned tastes and refashions herself as a sexually desirable woman. Morrison portrays Dorcas as just wanting to be looked at and admired. When Joe Trace visits her aunt’s house she successfully captures the the 50 year old’s gaze. This leads into a love affair where they often meet in secret and make love. Each encounter Joe adores and admires her and fills her desires. However, overtime Dorcas starts to see Joe as a father figure, not someone who is an authoritative figure. She realizes how malleable Joe is and moves on to a younger male named Acton who promises to shape Dorcas and control her. In Elizabeth Cannon’s, Following the Traces of Female Desire in Toni Morrison’s Jazz, she describes why actions, such as Dorcas’s, are done. She says, “Specifically, Morrison suggests that sexual desire becomes the only desire operative when the fulfillment of other desires is denied and that what African American women currently most desire, and what is currently most denied to them, is subjectivity, the consciousness needed to act as a subject.”  This is perfect in Dorcas’ case because she had the sexual desire when she was denied subjectivity; then she had the opportunity to obtain subjectivity with Acton, which she pursued. This can also be an example of how love can be defined differently for each person but the pursuit is still for ourselves.

Love should not be a selfish act. The pursuit of love shouldn’t be and in most cases isn’t solely for ourselves. However, along with added circumstances, it’s our own personal feelings and thoughts that influence our decision to pursue love. Jazz is a confusing stream of consciousness that tells an odd love story. The characters in Jazz love unconditionally but also tragically. Violet drowns in her love of Joe, Joe is possessed by his love for Dorcas, and Dorcas is the puppet of her own desired love. Each character has their own type of love like each person in the world does, yet each character, whether they’re from Jazz or from your own life, pursues their love for the same reason; themselves… which isn’t always a bad thing.

Works Cited

Burton, Zisca Isabel, and Harold Bloom. Bloom’s How to Write about Toni Morrison. E-book, New York, Chelsea House, 2008. This eBook offers a summary of the structure of Jazz. He points out Morison’s stream of consciousness and how her style of writing could compare the Jazz style of music. He continues to expand on topics and strategies to consider when writing our essay. Themes, characters. historical context, philosophical ideas and form/genre are included in his analysis. Under each of these, he proves sample topics and questions. His examples about the theme “Love” relate to my (in progress) “purpose of my essay/question”(Should you sacrifice yourself for love?) by relating to how love is expressed in Jazz and how the characters develop different kinds of love.

Lewis, Liz. “The ‘monstrous potential of love’. Moral ambiguity in Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Jazz.” Literature Study, Dec. 2001. This essay talks about both Beloved and Jazz and how love is incorporated into them. She describes the love in Beloved as a dangerous practice doomed to heartache. She takes a physiatric approach in analyzing the different scenes in Beloved. She talks about how Joe’s search and reach for love with Dorcas were fueled by his mother, Wild abandoning him. She talks about how actions that are fueled by love can be the right thing to do but you have no right to do it.

Wilson, Olivia. “The City and the Voice of Jazz: An Integration of Art Forms.” African American Studies Essay Competition. Wilson talks about how coming to the city changed Joe Trace, one of the characters in Toni Morrison’s Jazz. She mentions how some believe the city didn’t change him at all but brought out his true identity. It’s said Joe “changes” at least 7 times during the book, multiple changed include when he’s introduced to love, both with violet and Dorcas. She acknowledged that the structure of Jazz is both disjointed and confusing but how this relates to jazz music itself. The acknowledgment that the word ‘jazz’ is never said in the book is then related to the fact that jazz itself is the narrator.

Maslow, A.H. (1943). “A Theory of Human Motivation”. In Psychological Review, 50 (4),               430-437.  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behavior. Once that level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us, and so on. Maslow noted only one in a hundred people become fully self-actualized because our society rewards motivation primarily based on esteem, love and other social needs. Love is something that is needed and desired eventually for most and is the one most get stuck on. So what influences our decision to pursue love? If in most cases it’s never truly fulfilled.

Cannon, Elizabeth M. “Following the Traces of Female Desire in Toni Morrison’s Jazz.” African American Review, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 235-47. Cannon talks about how Toni Morrison explores desire and specifically talks about sexual desire. Cannon pertains everything she is talking about to African American women. She uses Dorcas as an example of pursuing sexual desire or love because she is denied subjectivity. This makes a lot of sense because Dorcas leaves Joe because he let her be her own person and Acton, the younger male Dorcas leaves Joe for, commands her to do things and tells her how to dress and act and do and she enjoys that and sought that out.

Mukherjee, Sahukar Protibha. ““There she is”: Reconnoitering the Miasmatic Leanings of Joe Trace in Toni Morrison’s Jazz.” Journal of Literature, Culture and Media Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, Winter 2009. She talks about Joe’s necessary to be with Dorcas to fulfill his own desires and reduce his own pain. She says, “In choosing Dorcas, Joe performs the gesture of recognition that he desired from his mother. Dorcas proves to be the end of change for Joe, and the beginning of new insight through which he struggles to establish and sustain a personal identity.” She goes on to talk about how Joe killed his teenage mistress in order to “preserve the feelings their affair has produced”.  This is a good example of Joe pursuing love for his own wants and needs.

Morrison, Toni. Jazz. New York, Vintage Books, 2006.


Stellar Facts Contradicting Stellar Facts on Senate Bill 11

Dear Dallas Morning News,

In the editorial by Dennis McCuistion supporting the campus carry law, he states, “The data says guns on campus will make us safer.”  McCuistion incorporates true but unrelated statistics about deaths due to gun violence and Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders. He also tries to support his claims with “educated opinions” which isn’t evidence and can be dismissed as irrelevant.

I not only disapprove of Senate Bill 11, but also disagree with his argument for it is lacking foundation. Yes, the CDC reports 33,878 deaths resulted from firearms in 2013 and yes more were suicides rather than firearm-related homicides, however McCuistion fails to mention what correlation that has to gun laws and restrictions which was mentioned in the previous paragraph. In his editorial there is also an emphasis that CHL holders are less likely to be involved in criminal activities, however in most cases “safer” CHL holders are not the ones to be worried about; even without a CHL there are other ways to obtain handguns. The mentioned, “educated opinions” that support the open carry law are not opinions that are directly affected by the issue.

McCuistion is very proud of his fact checking of Mr. Crisp’s sources from his editorial about negating Senate Bill 11 and it is much appreciated. McCuistion even points out that Mr. Crisp’s argument leads readers to believe that more gun laws and restrictions are the answer based onMr. Crisp’s citing of the National Journal. This is completely true based on the correlation between restriction and gun violence that was back up with evidence.  McCuistion’s next paragraph highlighting his stellar facts leads us to believe that the number of majority of deaths of firearms didn’t even come from firearm-related homicides but suicides. People killing other people with guns doesn’t really seem as bad when more people are killing themselves with guns, right? Some might say yes, but just because the CDC reports more deaths by guns were from suicides than homicides doesn’t contradict the fact more gun laws showed less gun violence. To put it simply, more gun restrictions leads to less people killing other people. Let me be clear: it is tragic to see that more take their own lives with firearms, but that doesn’t change the amount of those that are being killed by firearms, nor does that lessen the truthfulness of the National Journal article.

In addition, McCuistion talks about how in 2013, there were 50,869 convictions; 158(.31%) were CHL holders. He then makes the quick assumption that the ones doing criminal activities do not hold Concealed Handgun Licenses. Again, his statistics are spot on but do he really think that just because only CHL holders are allowed with guns on campus, it’ll stop potential non-licensed shooters from coming onto the college campus? Much less stop them from opening fire? 99.69% of convictions in 2013 did not have CHLs. That’s a much larger portion of people committing crimes with guns and without CHLs. This evidence could prove CHL holders commit less crimes but it also suggests that the majority of people, the people college students should worry about committing crimes don’t have CHL’s; now that handguns can be carried it makes those 99.69% of people less identifiable. Is the armed person sitting next to you a licensed student or a possible shooter? Should we ask?

Although McCuistion admits the responses he gathered from PoliceOne as being nothing more than just opinions and not evidence that concealed carry laws are beneficial, it seems almost absurd for individuals to even consider them when it comes from those that are not affected daily. Have you ever looked at how actual Texas college students feel about it? Take The University of Texas for example, according to an article by the Austin AmericanStatesman, UT students showed their opposition to the bill. Their protest formed from their saying, “Cocks Not Glocks.” Their reason for this was expressed through their facebook page stating how the state of Texas doesn’t have rules about bringing guns to class but does have strict rules about sexual expression. This reasoning was followed by the statement,“You would receive a citation for taking a DILDO to class before you would get in trouble for taking a gun to class. Heaven forbid the penis.” Opposition from UT students doesn’t just show their blunt disapproved of the campus carry law but it also shows the injustice they feel that’s going on because of foolish safety priorities being enforced throughout college campuses.

Although only CHL holders are allowed on campus and those licensed individuals make up .31% of convictions in Texas, does having a CHL really make you qualified to carry a gun around? I’d like to think getting a CHL is a rigorous process that tests a range of abilities of the individuals wanting to be able to carry around a deadly weapon around their waist. When “How to get a CHL license in Texas?” is searched online (which I’d guess is what most who want to obtain a CHL do) the first thing that comes up on the screen is, “4 EASY STEPS TO GET YOUR TEXAS LTC (FORMALLY KNOWN AS THE TEXAS CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSE CHL BEFORE 1/1/16)”. This quote belongs to Spartan Defense who offers defense classes, Licence to Carry (LTC)and other opportunities regarding firearms and self-defense. Organizations like these are helpful but it does highlight the simplicity that comes into obtaining a license. This may be useful for those getting the license but what about those who aren’t? If it’s that easy anyone could do it. For example, Leif Reigstad from the Houston Press wrote an article titled, “Why Was It So Easy for Me to Get a Concealed Handgun License?” In this article, he expresses how he shot a gun, ten rounds, for the first time and the next time he shot a gun was during the shooting test for his LTC, which he passed. As long as someone meets certain Texas requirements, they are able to have an LTC which allows them to purchase firearms as well. Legally purchasing a firearm isn’t the only way to get one. Many can be obtained illegally or taken from family members, friends or anyone who actually has one.

McCuistion’s statistics, facts and resources can be true and reliable but uncorrelated is unacceptable. The reason his argument is failing is because his facts don’t support what he’s trying to say. Individually they may be true, but within the editorial they make no sense and thus hold no foundation or support. McCuistion’s evidence is easily dismantled because there is much more support when one has correlating facts and evidence to the argument.

I cannot tell Dennis McCuistion or anyone like him to change his mind or suggest that he reconsiders his whole way of life, however I do recommend that people listen to those who are the opposite of them. Reading letters like mine is a good start, however researching on your own and actually analyzing why those opposite others are so opposed to this bill might not change someone’s mind but it might help an individual, like McCuistion to understand why their evidence and claims are a bit lacking. The goal doesn’t have to be to change people’s mind but instead help them understand your side and enable them to keep it in their pocket when learning about other opinions. One person cannot write from just one end of the political or social spectrum; you must walk down both ends and then use that direct evidence to support your writing. Relevance and reliability are two different things, but you need them both to comprehend and perhaps change people’s views.



Maggie Saucedo



Phillips, D. (n.d.). Voices From Texas on Campus Carry [Newsgroup post]. Retrieved from New York Times website:

Reigstad, L. (n.d.). Why Was It So Easy for Me to Get a Concealed Handgun License? [Newsgroup post]. Retrieved from Houston Press website:

Wilson, M. (n.d.). UT students use sex toys to protest campus carry law [Newsgroup post]. Retrieved from Austin American Statesman website:

Persuasive Evil

Governor George C. Wallace delivered his inaugural address in 1962 in Montgomery Alabama. Throughout his speech, he conveys to his audience that Southerners such as themselves are superior to people of color and always will be. Not only does he preach the inferiority of colored people, he also condemns those who believe the opposite. He forces them into an imaginary box labeled as evil, a synonym he uses for liberals and communists. Analyzing pages 9-12 of his speech he effectively uses past Southern’s authority as ethos, broad but solid facts as logos and emotional assertions for pathos. This further drives his argument by leading his listeners to unconsciously recognize the path of segregation and white supremacy as the ultimate good and other options as the ultimate evil.

Although weak in reliable facts that include actual numbers, Wallace uses general claims that effectively support his message. On page 10 he says, “…there are not enough native communists in the South to fill up a telephone booth… and THAT is a matter of public FBI record.” When he claims such little population of native communities in the South he already gives his audience the thought that his message is not just favorable in Alabama but a driving force in all southern states. This majority favored attitude also leads to a logical reason of, how could something so many people believe so strongly in be wrong? And because his audience all have “the south” in common they couldn’t question the values held so strongly by those who are just like them. Emphasizing that the lack of communist forces is apparent though ‘FBI records,’ highlights how Wallace is able to give evidence that his so creditable a government organization is able to create statistics about and release them for the whole country to see, further building confidence among his audience.

Although proving his authority early on in the speech he further glorifies himself by using the label of being a southerner. This leads to the audience having faith in him because of those in the past like him but also having faith in themselves and in turn exalting him because he is like his audience and proved that to them. On page 11 Wallace declares, “We remind all within hearing of this Southland that a Southerner, Peyton Randolph, presided over the Continental Congress in our nation’s beginning… that a Southerner, Thomas Jefferson, wrote the Declaration of Independence, that a Southerner, George Washington, is the Father of our Country… that a Southerner, James Madison, authorised our Constitution, that a Southerner, George Mason, authored the Bill of Rights and it was a Southerner who said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death,’ Patrick Henry.” Here he mentions six southerners who have, what he says, “played a most magnificent part in erecting this great divinely inspired system of freedom…” This elicits an almost forced feeling of southern superiority. Wallace puts into the audience’s head the question of, if all of these southerners did these magnificent things to shape the country and its future, how could they not be superior? And how could Wallace, who is so much like them, not be just as remarkable? Wallace puts himself on a podium with all of the other great southerners before him and in unison, they articulate Wallace’s message of segregation and white Christian superiority. This image is put into this audience’s mind thus giving him authority along with his message.

Emotional connection with the audience is consistent throughout Wallace’s speech. There is southern pride, Christian pride, and the pride of being the superior race, however, there is also defense. When an individual or group feels threatened they make it known that who they are and what they believe in cannot be shaken nor discouraged. Wallace displays this unshakable emotion on page 9 when he says, “But we warn those, of any group, who would follow the false doctrine of communistic amalgamation that we will not surrender our system of government… our freedom of race and religion for that freedom was won as a hard price, and if it requires a hard prices to keep it… we are able… and quite willing to pay it.” He doesn’t point out that he as an individual is warning others, but specifically used the word ‘we’ to make a connection with the audience that makes them feel part of this unshakable faith and pride that he’s describing. Wallace uses the word ‘surrender’ as well. Surrender is a big tone word that is defined as cease resistance to an enemy. To say he and those like him will NOT surrender creates a persuasive and inclusive defiance tone indicated by words that relate to surrender like ‘enemy’. The word enemy always has a negative connotation; for Wallace to be inclusive and say that they will resist to their common enemy is a really powerful motivator for his audience to agree with him. Lastly, he says how willing and able they are to fight for their hard earned freedom. This connects to the resistance of the enemy because only will they will oppose but also rise up and challenge anyone of any kind standing in their way. Wallace consistently uses emotional elements as well as inclusive components to create an emotional appeal and even emotional unity throughout his audience.

As a whole, Governor Wallace delivered a speech that was structurally fluent and as well perfectly supported by key rhetorical devices. He immediately and consistently uses emotional appeal, broad factual statements and southern jurisdiction to accomplish an overall feeling of agreements throughout his audience. Although slightly cynical, intolerant and prejudiced he successfully conveyed to his audience his message that white Southerners such as themselves are superior to people of color and always will be, denouncing anyone who believes otherwise.


Kipling, Rudyard. The White Man’s Burden: The United States & The Philippine Islands, 1899. Rudyard Kipling’s Verse: Definitive ed., Garden City, New York, Doubleday, 1929.

Wallace, George C. “The Inaugural Address of Governor George C Wallace.” Montgomery, Alabama, 14 Jan. 1963. Address.

Newman, John J., and John M. Schmalbach. United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination. 3rd ed., New York, Amsco School Publications, 2014.


Fitzgerald Whoever

The Great Gatsby is a book written by Fitzgerald Scott,  narrated by a man named Nick Carraway who becomes disillusioned with how wealthy socialites live their lives. Even though the story is being told through Nick’s third person point of view, the character’s emotional and physical interactions are easily distinguished. Fitzgerald’s writing depicts a cynical view of humanity that shows each character being unable to make true, real and honest connections with the people around them and themselves. This is specifically shown through Daisy’s evolving behavior and rekindled feelings about Gatsby, Tom’s oblivious knowledge yet reluctance to admit about Daisy and Gatsby’s relationship, and Gatsby’s inability to be true to himself as well as failing to realize it.

At first, Daisy’s marriage with Tom seemed like a stereotypical, happy marriage. However, the first sign that showed Daisy’s unique behavior was when Tom was on the phone with his mistress and Daisy accompanied. Daisy obviously knew about the relationship but resumed dinner acting as if nothing happened and as if it was to be expected. A moment when Daisy represented the true cynical view that Fitzgerald bases the book on is on page 116 when Nick says, “As he left the room again she got up and went over to Gatsby and pulled his face down, kissing him on the mouth. ‘You know I love you,’ she murmured.” The ‘he’ in the beginning is referring to Tom, and then Daisy kisses Gatsby without hesitation in front of not only Nick, but also Ms. Baker. Knowing she has the pronounced privilege of kissing Gatsby in front of Tom and Daisy’s friends. She does this immediately after Tom leaves creating a callous tone in the scene. This further creates insensitive relationships with Nick, Ms. Baker, and Tom, but also a relationship between her and Gatsby that is motivated by self-interest.

Tom Buchanan seemed to have it all according to the disordered and falsely depicted view of the American dream that Fitzgerald portrayed in his novel. He has respected “old money,” superior social status, a wife and even a mistress. It’s clear Tom is a self interested man from the start with his high moral expectations of those around him but not complying with those standards himself. Tom really shows an incapability of connecting to other humans due to his occupation with himself, when he insists Daisy loves him on page 131 by saying, “‘She does, though. The trouble is that sometimes she gets foolish ideas in her head and doesn’t know what she’s doing… And what’s more is I love Daisy too. Once in awhile I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time.’” Here he is openly admitting he’s had an afraid but insisting he still has a true and full connection to Daisy known as love. He also insists that she has the same connection towards him even if she thinks she doesn’t. This question happens after the fact the Gatsby tells Tom and everyone in the room that Daisy and Gatsby have longed for each other for five years. Regardless if this is true or not, Daisy’s feelings for Gatsby cannot be denied based on her actions. Tom’s insisting and almost forceful idea of love only shows that he is so wrapped up in his own feelings and opinions that if any part of his fantasy is pointed out as possibility false he becomes outraged and denies the idea. Tom represents the forced human connections that happen throughout The Great Gatsby that take the place of actual true human connection.

Although Fitzgerald’s novel seems to portray the main character as Gatsby, he is only one of the many representations of the cynical view of humanity. Gatsby seemed to do anything to gain the social position he thought necessary to win Daisy. Daisy seemed to be his sole motivation throughout his spotty life. Daisy became an illusion Gatsby lusted for. On page 95 shortly after Gatsby and Daisy reunited for the first time in 5 years, Nick says, “It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way.” The ‘it’ in this sentence refers to Gatsby’s vitality of his illusion; he illusion of his lust and possible love for Daisy. Having ‘thrown’ himself into it, adding every single extravagant thing he could only fueled his illusion and actually created a delusion that they could live this happily ever after. This delusion got in the way of everything. He was only concerned with protecting Daisy which resulted in exposing himself and setting up his own death. Gatsby not only represents the inability to connect with other humans but an inability to have a relationship with oneself; driven by a cynical attitude so deep that it cancels out the self-serving want and creates a blind lust for something that can never happen.

Some could argue that Gatsby’s love for Daisy was so great and so true that it’s what restricted him from making other human connections. Some could also say that Daisy’s feelings for Gatsby and Tom’s feelings for Daisy make them incapable of seeing the world around them because they had such strong human connections. However, the bottom line is that their relationships were dishonest and ended up being false. Characters like Tom, Daisy and Gatsby were not honest to each other and just as importantly not honest to themselves. Humanity in this novel is portrayed as cynical and nothing else. Real relationships are non existent. However, in reality human connection is a driving force that makes the world spin. Connecting and sharing about ideas and discoveries is what generates new innovations that help variations of people all over the world. Without our real and honest connections a majority of everyday luxuries wouldn’t be possible, like having friends, loving family, learning, creating and progressing. Connections lead to progression and The Great Gatsby seemed to be a poor progressing novel.

Rhetorical Analysis on Michelle Obama’s Speech on Donald Trump’s Alleged Treatment of Women

Michelle Obama presented a speech on Donald Trump’s alleged treatment of women. Her speech was mainly projected at women and young people trying to get them to understand that anyone who says such repulsive things as Donald Trump said should be ignored indefinitely. Michelle is also trying to emphasize to youth and women that their votes matter in this 2016 elections and for Hillary to win they need to rise and step up to the occasion. She used profound literary elements of ethos, pathos and logos to get the point across.

Ethos is when the writer or speaker says something that gives them authority and gives the audience a reason to believe and listen. As Michelle talks she mentioned how our male presidential candidate is able to give young women and children an awful image of themselves. She goes on to say things like, “As a mother…” or “As a women…” and follows with how it’s painful enough for her to hear these things and how it must be even worse for any child. By starting off with “As a mother…” or “As a women…” it automatically allows people to connect and believe what she’s saying because she is in their shoes, because she is similar to them as a woman and mother. In addition to this she uses her position as first lady of the United States as well as living in the white house to give her authority. She says things such as, “And I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for the President of the United States bragged about sexually assaulting women.” This gives off an effect that if she is this shook by his actions something is definitely wrong, as this shouldn’t be presidential behavior. It gives her the jurisdiction of knowing that Donald Trump is not the right person for president because she’s in the white house and knows what is going on and know who the right person is… which she soon makes clear that it is Hillary Clinton.

Pathos comes from the speaker. Its emotional connection, emotional inclusion, empathic connect to make the audience feel secure and trust the speaker. Michelle relates the sexual predatory behavior of Donald Trump to feelings that women have had to experience before. She says, “It’s like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you’re walking down the street minding your own business and some guy yells out vulgar words about your body.” And goes on to say, “It’s that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them, or forced himself on them, and they’ve said no but he didn’t listen.” These disgusting and cruel scenarios touch the heart of all women whether they are mothers, grandmothers or any type of guardian because they know it can happen to the children as well. Even by using “you” with 2nd person it allows everyone and anyone watching to feel personally attacked and emotionally distraught. By relating Donald Trump to these scenarios and affiliate him with these feelings, leaves the crowd feeling violated and gives an effect that no one in their right mind would one a leader of their nation to not only say but do things like kissing and groping women and using language so obscene that they are afraid of their children hearing it. Concerning any children also incorporates pathos because children are seen as the ones who need the most protection from the nasty people that say and do what Donald Trump have said and done. She also uses pathos to compare Donald Trump to men who are kind and our sickened by “the thought of their  daughters being exposed to this kind of vicious language about women.” She says, “The men you and I know don’t treat women this way.” Using you and I, allows the audience to share a common characteristic that the men they know are kind and right which is the opposite of what our male candidate is leading to the fact that Hillary is the only right option.

Logos relates to the message of the speaker. Logos is an appeal to logic, and is a way of persuading an audience by reason. In her speech, Michelle mainly uses the argument that Donald Trump doesn’t appeal to basic human decency and is an inhumane excuse for a man and unfit to be President of the United States. In the beginning of her speech she says that as women, parents we want to raise our children and youth to be “respectful adults and citizens who think that our nation’s leaders should meet basic standards of human decency.” By saying this it persuades the audience members to see, believe and understand that the man running for president is not meeting basic human standards by treating women with demeanor and disrespect. She bring in an anecdote of a six year old boy who knows better than donald trump’s inhumane comments. She says, “A six year old who knows that this is not how adults behave. This is not how decent human being behave. And this is certainly not how someone who wants to be president of the United States behaves.” Michelle uses logos by clearing outlining right from wrong and emphasizes that Donald Trump is the wrong and will be the wrong while Hillary Clinton is the right and will be the right for this nation. Also in regards to Hilary she says toward the ends of her speech that, “We cannot afford to be tired or turned off. And we cannot afford to stay home on election day.” She’s saying it is unacceptable and illogical and as a nation we are not able to bear not using the power we have to elect the right person for president which is Hillary Clinton.

In conclusion, Michelle Obama uses her position as first lady and as a mother to create an unconscious position of authority to her audience. She also uses emotional triggers to create emotional connection, emotional inclusion, empathic connect to make the audience feel secure and trust her. Lastly she uses logos precisely give an image of a right and wrong candidate for the presidency and relates the wrong to Donald Trump and the right to Hillary Clinton. All while she maintains sophistication and composure to such grueling topics and delivers an effective speech towards her specific audiences in that environment.

Hey White Eyes & Hey My Eyes

Two poems are written. One is from a minority’s perspective and one is from a privileged ignorant person’s perspective. The poems try to focus around the fact that people all around the world have stereotypes and ignorant people assume they know other’s lifestyles  based on features like race, clothes etc. Using eyes in the poems are also trying to represent how some people who are not the minority don’t see minority’s struggles and sometimes don’t see them as someone who is equal to them.


Blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes, white eyes.

Eyes are staring, eyes are shifting.

The eyes of those who know

No suffering

Are the blindest of eyes.

Looking at us as a spot, a colored spot, just another spot.

Not just another spot but a dark spot,

Who lives in a dark place and had a dark life and knows nothing about being a white spot.

Eyes not looking, eyes just glancing

Eyes looking over, around, under but never through, never of, never us.

They think they see so they think they know.

They look over us like they look over waves to the horizon.

They look around us like a person standing in their way.

They never look through or of so they don’t know that that spot isn’t a dark spot but a light spot,

A brilliant spot, a beautiful spot, a struggling spot but

A proud spot.

Blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes,

Hey, white eyes.

Stare and glance because waves are what make up the ocean so that there is even a horizon to stare at.

Look so you can know.

Look at a colored spot as a bright spot.

Look at us just as you look at yourself.

Standing on a tower I am.

At the top I am.

Look at them, all of them.

It’s funny how they talk funny

Must be because they live where I don’t

And don’t do what I do.

Why do they linger and protest?

Acting like flies, swarming and buzzing around something that is never going to move.

Being a nuisance to everyone around,

Don’t they know they can be swatted away,

Don’t they know I am at the top?

Look at me versus them.

I’m light enough and bright enough to stand out.

All they can do is hide in the shadows.

There are so many.

So many standing in the way.

Turn back, go back, get back.

What are they looking at?

Hey, eyes up you’re in the way.

Look at their eyes,

Why do my eyes look so much like theirs?

Proposal for Creative Response to Claudia Rankine’s Citizen

Medium: I would like to communicate my response with two poems of two different perspectives and include a short artist statement as required.

Topic: A big idea I want to focus on would be invisibility.

Message: Messages I want to express to my audience would be how the world and its peoples have stereotypes and ignorant people assume they know other’s lifestyles  based on features like race, clothes etc. I also wanted to express how some people who are not the minority don’t see the minority’s struggles and sometimes don’t see them as someone who is equal to them.

Audience:  Of course I want this to be direct at everyone but a main group would  be people with the majority of privilege in the world and how sometimes they’re unable to see  or understand the people will less privilege and more struggles.

The It Assertion

“I saw nothing without seeing it, I heard nothing without hearing it, and felt nothing without feeling it.” – Frederick Douglass

In Frederick Douglass’ Learning How to Read and Write he realizes his condition that tormented him which was the fact that he was a slave and had had no freedom. In this assertion when he says “it” he is talking about freedom. Any moment he thought of anything he thought about freedom or in this case his lack of it. Everything he saw he saw freedom, everything he heard he heard freedom and anything he felt he felt freedom. Although I have never been in the situation Frederick Douglass was in, nor have I ever been a slave; I do know what not having freedom feels like. In all moments of your life, you can imagine how that moment would be different if you had freedom.

Although I have never been in the situation Frederick Douglass was in, nor have I ever been a slave; I do know what not having freedom feels like. In all moments of your life, you can imagine how that moment would be different if you had freedom. It’s always there clawing at your mind and you’re always there with it longing to have it. When he says he saw, heard and felt absolutely nothing without seeing, hearing and feeling freedom I absolutely believe he meant it. Freedom is a necessity and is something anyone and everyone should have.

Once Frederick Douglass knew this and understood this, he was able to process the fact that he didn’t have it and progressed to longing for it all the time. Most humans nowadays have the freedom Frederick Douglass did not. Even if you aren’t a black slave that’s been enslaved by white settlers there are other ways to not have freedom. Some more severe than others but all none the less lacking some type of freedom. Whether it has to do with a certain relationship or education or love or identity, people who are suffering know the fact they are being denied freedom.

And those who understand this are able to process it and thus progress to the stage where they are longing for it all the time. Whatever and whenever we see, hear and feel… we also long for freedom not only as a right but as a friend.

Didactic Deed

My name is Maggie and my favorite color is red. I love pugs, but I do not have one. I run everyday; the sky is very pretty when I run in the mornings. Once I go to college, I’ll probably major in something that has to do with math. I like math, especially algebra. My favorite food are donuts. When it’s the weekend, I usually get donuts on sunday because I dont have cross country or a cross country meet. What you really need to know about me is that if I had a pug, my pug would eat donuts, run and do math with me.

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