Red White and Beer: a Rhetorical Analysis of America's Retail Patriotism

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Ross Brigman English 2001 Sharon Price Rhetorical Analysis Red, White, and Beer: A Criticism of America’s ‘Retail Patriotism’ ‘Red, White, and Beer’ is a short two and a half page essay written by Dave Barry. On the surface, this essay seems to be for pure entertainment purposes. With its satirical concepts of imagery, one cannot help but laugh while reading this critique, and think that it is for entertainment only; maybe it is. However, I believe that he sincerely has issues with how America is portrayed in the advertisements created by major companies that target national pride, and love for one’s country in order to make a sell. Dave Barry’s rhetorical strategies of underlying declarative sentence structure, informal writing…show more content…
Barry also gives a detailed short story about how drinking on the job, like many of the advertisements we see on television, can cause a lot more harm than good. After explaining a situation where a friend has Barry and other friends help him move out of his apartment in exchange for beer, we learn through Barry’s underlying declarative sentence structure that drinking on the job is a bad idea. It is as if he asks the question, ‘why do we advertise that it is ok to drink while working, when everyone knows it is a terrible idea’ (191). We also see that through his sentence structure that it truly is not ‘American’ to be irresponsible and drink beer while working. We also learn about Dave Barry’s disagreements with ‘retail patriotism’ through his informal writing style. An author’s diction is what their writing style is. What was their overall vocabulary style choice? Was the essay formal or informal? These questions compromise what makes Dave Barry’s criticism of ‘retail patriotism’ more down to earth in order to not only reach a certain audience, but to also show that a point can be made without an over extensive or over complicated vocabulary. An example of this simplified yet educated writing is, “What we are talking about, according to the commercials, is that Miller is by God an American beer,” (190). Barry subtly points out that America has been put on the back burner to advertisement. He shows us that even though one does not have to look up new
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