Alice Walker to Clinton
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Alice Walker’s letter written to Bill Clinton reveals her concerns about issues of poverty and social injustice in Cuba, particularly for the children there. Her letter is an argument made to convince the former President that the embargo bill that he signed was wrong. The reason she gives to back up her claim is that the embargo is hurting the people of Cuba by taking away food from the children. Walker’s argument is mostly from the heart and she tries to appeal to Clinton’s sense of emotions and values. She wants to encourage sympathy for the Cuban people. The context of her argument is based on the social aspects of a political decision.
Alice Walker establishes credibility early on in the letter by bring up the fact that she was invited to the White House, which lets her audience know that she is a person worthy of recognition because the average person does not get invited to the White House by the President of the United States. She also further establishes ethos when she reveals that she has been active in politics concerning Cubans since she was 18. “The first protest I joined that picketed the White House was a Hands Off Cuba rally in 1962. I was eighteen.” She went on to express her positive feelings toward the White House because of that experience.
It is also clear early on how Walker tries to connect with her audience using mainly pathos to appeal to Clinton. She offers her experience of protesting to humanize her. She also mentions that she loves Cuba and that the bill “hurts her deeply.” In the fourth paragraph she also tries to appeal to his values as a person by presenting how one should always, “Do unto others.Love thy neighbor”. Walker mentions that this value has been instilled in her by her Christian parents.
The language that Walker chose to use to present her argument is mostly sincere and heartfelt. Her letter feels as if she is attempting to have a heart to heart with Clinton. Her sensitive language is overused though. Walker provided too much information about how she feels personally about the situation. “Whenever you hurt them, or help them, please think of me.” Mostly she is expressing her feelings and her reasons for why she feels that way. Her attempt to get the reader to identify with the situation of the Cuban people is lost because her plea is based mainly on emotions. She doesn’t back up her argument with enough facts. Her argument would have been more effective if she would have presented more facts on how the Cuban people are being harmed by the bill. Instead she talked about the human condition and how people are