Rhetorical analysis over is Texas America by Molly Ivins
The subject matter of the essay is Texas. Texas means a lot to Americans—President George Bush belongs to this State. The author writes on this state and though she relates many controversies that surround the polity and life of the common Texan, her article as such does not dig up any controversies. Some writers have the ability to make simple issues controversial ones. Some writers have he agility to write on the controversial issues as if they are revealing some anecdotes.
Molly Ivins belongs to the later category. She is genuinely interested to introduce effortlessly the elements of humor in the otherwise dull looking situations related to Texas. The trials, tribulations, the sense of compulsive duty of the Texan people and the peculiar geography, the scenic beauty of the Texas are matchless and unbeatable by any parameters as compared to other States of USA. She sees through the controversial situations well, but does not wish to make serious issues out of them.
She covers every aspect of Texas, culturally, politically, socially and issues related to the day to day existence of the common man. She describes the achievements and failures of the people and the governors of Texas.
The subjects tackled by her are highly engrossing to read. She loves Texas, notwithstanding its many shortcomings. Every time she wishes to defend something about Texas, she finds herself in trouble. Molly Ivins writes, “So, how come trying to explode myths about Texas always winds up reinforcing them? After all these years, I do not think it is my fault. The fact is, it’s a damned peculiar place. Given all the horseshit, there’s bound to be a pony in here somewhere. Just by trying to be honest about it, one accidentally underlines its sheer strangeness.” (Ivins, 2003)
The author describes the variety that is Texas in a matter of fact tone. Her purpose is to introduce the State of Texas, the standard of life and standard of living of the people of Texas to the people world over. Since the information is conveyed in a lucid and humorous style, the reading becomes enjoyable. The presentation of the fact sheets related to Texas is informative as well as educative. The reader feels compelled to read the article, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph and page by page. On the whole, it is an informative, educative and highly engrossing article. She says how desperate she is to find out a uniform identity about the State of Texas and the Texan people and how her attempts fail and result in more confusion. Molly pacifies her own self as she says, “Truth is, I’ve spent much of my life trying, unsuccessfully, to explode the myths about Texas. One attempt to explain–with all good will, historical evidence, nasty statistics and just a bow of recognition to our racism–that Texas is not The Alamo starring John Wayne. We’re not Giant, we ain’t a John Ford western. The first real Texan I ever saw on TV was King of the Hill’s Boomhauer, the guy who’s always drinking beer and you can’t understand a word he says.” (Ivins…)She wonders how one say that Texas is one unified State when nothing is common about its geography, its people, the disposition and language of the people. She writes, “Here’s the deal on Texas. It’s big. So big there’s about five distinct and different places here, separated from one another geologically, topographically, botanically, ethnically, culturally and climatically. Hence our boring habit of specifying East, West and South Texas, plus the Panhandle and the Hill Country.” (Ivins….)
The writer develops her ideas about Texas by observing the various facets of life. Some part of it by experiencing directly! The entire essay is a beautiful narration and she gives complete description of the small and big issues taken up by her. She has many things to compare and some interesting analogies to give. The methods used by her to develop the essay are most appropriate as that is the only way to say about the subject in its entirety. She has a harsh dig at the political set up of Texas and feels bad about the sorry state of affairs in the corruption-ridden set up at all levels. The legislature is dominated not by elected representatives, but by lobbyists. The Government can be bought at every stage of its operation. She reminds us that Enron was a Texas company. She says that loan scandals happen most in Texas. The insurance industry is in a mess. Texan government is a controlled fraud—an expression used when a corporation is rotten from the head down.
Nothing specific about the arrangement of the ideas is seen in the essay. She perhaps writes freely, as the issues come to her mind. No issue is given priority. But the political figures, small or big, get special treatment by her pen. Her approach to their credentials is sarcastic. Without making special efforts for transition, the whole essay reads like the well planned text. The writer is clear about what she wishes to say. She criticizes mildly and is not afraid to express her bitterness about the sad state of affairs concerning the public life of the politicians at the National level, and Texas in particular. She is bitter about their lack of sense of responsibility.
The essay contains every type of sentences, and she has used them appropriate to the occasion. Some sentences are very short and some are long. Both of them are highly relevant. The dialogues and monologues are the strength of Molly Ivins. They come straight from the heart. Each sentence of the dialogue is chiseled to perfection and you do not find it wordy. They have the essential dignity about them. One does not find any repetition of the themes. The contents of the essay are original and as one goes through them in the essay, a sense of refresh ness is experienced. A new orientation has been provided to the existing state of affairs in Texas. It is not the ‘old wine in the new bottle.’ It is the new wine in the new bottle.
The author begins the essay with a humorous bang. She writes “Well, sheesh. I don’t know whether to warn you that because George Dubya Bush is President the whole damn country is about to be turned into Texas (a singularly horrible fate: as the country song has it: “Lubbock on Everythang”) or if I should try to stand up for us and convince the rest of the country we’re not all that insane.”(Ivins…) She pities the state of affairs in Texas, but does not condemn it outright. She has high praise about the old world charm of Texas. She attacks Bush, but in her inimical style. She writes, “If you want to understand George W. Bush–unlike his daddy, an unfortunate example of a truly Texas-identified citizen–you have to stretch your imagination around a weird Texas amalgam: religion, anti-intellectualism and machismo. All big, deep strains here, but still an odd combination! Then add that Bush is just another li’l upper-class white boy out trying to prove he’s tough.”(Ivins…)
Ivins proved how ‘pen is mightier than the sword.’ “Poking fun at the politicians was her style of writing. ““She was magical in her writing,” said Mike Blackman, a former Star-Telegram executive editor who hired Ivins in 1992. “She could turn a phrase in such a way that a pretty hard-hitting point didn’t hurt so badly.”(Syndicated…) She was dead against the plan of President Bush to send more troops to fight the Iraq War.
Ivins, Molly: Article: Is Texas America? Published in The Nation dated November 17, 2003
www.thenation.com/doc/20031117/ivins – 38k – Cached Retrieved on October 31, 2008
Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins…
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16910834/ – 50k – Cached Retrieved on October 31, 2008
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