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Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay

"Other People's Secrets" by Patricia Hampl is a reading about the publishing of her first collection of poems being published and the dark secret her mother kept hidden that is realeased in one of those poems. In the reading, the main point made by Patricia Hampl is whether or not it is someone else's right to tell someone else's secrets. In the reading, her mother does not want her to publish a certain poem because it releases the secret that her mother has epilepsy, something her mother has kept hidden for much time and does not want out. Hampl's main claim is that is that her mother's secret is an unreasonable reason not to publish the poem. Hampl's approach to the situation is pretty wry and sarcastic, almost as if she didn't care whether the feelings of her mother were hurt or not. The whole reading is basically a claim of should you or shouldn't you really tell the secrets of your family or not, and is it your right if you do?

Hampl's response of "Why not?" when her mother says that she can't publish the poem is evidence of her approach in that she isn't very caring to her mother's feelings or sympathetic to the fact that her mother wants this secret kept hidden. She claims she can tell this secret cause that what she does as a writer. And as a writer, that is what they get to do and " get away with it." Hampl even claims that it is called courage when a writer does such. Hampl also claims that she didn't feel her mother deserved to be so upset about the poem being published. Her mother is so upset by the belief that if it were to be released that she is an epileptic, she will lose her job and then everyone will also know that she had to cross the Iowa/Minnesota border in order to marry because Minneosta refused marriage licenses to epileptics. She argues consistently with her mother,



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