Sit Down Before Reading this Letter

Edip’s essay presents a fine example of such analytic skills coupled with imagination and a strong sense of his own audience. It’s easy to see that he’s very concerned with keeping his reader interested and amused while describing how junk mail works its magic on an audience (at least upon gullible Mr. John Smith). Edip’s attention to detail—his line by line quotations from letter and fully developed responses to each new idea—show how a student can focus in on the text at hand and then expand on it through his or her own analysis and evaluations. Edip’s essay shows us that rhetorical analysis doesn’t have to be dry and serious. By entering imaginatively into hopes and dreams of one member of a text’s audience, Edip reveals the effects of that directly (and keeps us laughing as he does so).