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Hilary de Vries & Anna Quindlan's use of Appeal in Writing

Updated on October 28, 2016

de Vries & Quindlan's Experiences with the Homeless

Hilary de Vries’s “I Think I Will Not Forget This” is an emotional appeal to the idea of a home and how that it applies to homeless people. de Vries’s purpose in her appeal was “to put a face on an all-too-faceless social problem.” de Vrie, who was visiting a Boston shelter, met a woman whom she assumed worked at the shelter because of her neat appearance. She soon found out that this woman was a resident of the shelter. This woman then gave de Vrie a tour and she later learned that the women received donations of clothing which explains why she was so well dressed. De Vrie does an excellent job of making the homeless woman in the shelter relatable by revealing her personal goals. The woman who gives her the tour of the shelter is described as having “beautiful skin, filled nails.” The homeless woman maintains this appearance because she works as a secretary and it is also revealed that she is continuing her education. De Vries uses an interesting tactic that pulls at her reader’s emotions. Throughout the appeal essay the author describes herself as being very tired and wanting to sit for a while. de Vries states this a few times throughout this short story. de Vries’s purpose in repeating this phrase is to relate to the average person with a home. People who are homeless do not have the luxury of having a familiar place to come back to after a long day. de Vries successfully summarizes her thoughts at the end that persistence is obtainable by anyone no matter what financial situation they are in. The woman with beautiful skin was a homeless woman with fancy clothes and neatly trimmed and polished nails. This woman is a student and a secretary in the addition to the title of a homeless woman. de Vries uses these titles to explain to her readers that a homeless person has no specific face. de Vries purpose in this appeal essay is to reduce the stigmas that are often associated with homeless people. They are just like every other person but lack a regular address to come home to every night.

Anna Quindlan, the author of the short essay Homeless, offers a slightly different perspective in her experiences with homeless shelters. Quindlan offers a more materialistic view on the tragedy of someone who does not have a home. As she simply states in the beginning of her essay, she is unable to hold a global view on homelessness. Quindlan has a much simpler view on the people who are without homes. Quindlan’s perspective is that your home defines who you are; “the dumb things” about a house are what holds the importance of a home. Quindlan’s focus in this essay was to uncover the reason for homeless people to be ashamed or stray from homeless shelters. I found her point interesting because Quindlan’s view of homeless shelters was completely the opposite of what de Vries portrayed in her experience. De Vries portrayed the positive side of homeless shelters and how beneficial they were to the homeless. Quindlan sympathized with the homeless who choose to sleep on the streets. Quindlan mentions the reasons for some homeless people to choose this option is due to the violence they might endure in shelters. In de Vries experience she debunks Quindlan’s argument by including the search shelters conduct before people are boarded. I found Quindlans’s essay to be somewhat negative in that it portrays a homeless shelter in a very negative way. I prefer de Vries view because it gives a more in depth and positive view of someone who lives in a shelter. I also think de Vries essay is more convincing and appealing because she interacts with a homeless woman as opposed to Quindlan’s outside observation.

Who Am I?

In the anonymous appeal essay featured in Prose Models Who Am I? is a perfect example of how one uses persuasion. In the persuasion essay Who Am I? addresses the discrimination of Mestizos in the US. The author describes in depth the historical roots of their discrimination. The author is teaching their readers about how Mestizos were treated. The author explains his ancestors inhabited the southwestern states and were robbed of their land. The purpose of including this information was to explain the rights that were stripped away from these native inhabitants. I find this anonymous essay powerful by the author not disclosing their name because it is symbolic for the faceless Mestizos who suffer from oppression. This anonymous essay allows readers to sympathize and advocate for the Mestizos who are people who should have the same opportunities as everybody else.


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