Monday, October 24, 2011

Analysis of Major Pain's Blog

Using proper rhetoric has an important effect when we write literary material. As blogging has become a widespread means to communicate one’s opinions and ideas, it is important to use good rhetoric in order to properly display what it is the writer wants to say. The following post is titled, "You failed-- but then what did you do," written by someone who calls himself Major Pain. His writing is meant to inspire people to take advantage of the mistakes they make and use those mistakes as opportunities of learning and become better people. While the tone in which Major Pain writes is enthusiastic and emotionally compelling, it also reflects a sense of hard nose, lack of compassion which is meant for military soldiers (from the blog site it is apparent that Major Pain is a career soldier himself) but the advice he gives is applicable to all. There are, however, many mistakes in grammar and punctuation that leave the blog wanting in sophistication that would usually entail professional advice. Despite this the article is compelling for anyone to read, while also including relevant metaphors to help us understand and even a quote from Abraham Lincoln.
From the post, it is feasible to determine that Maj. Pain (for lack of a name his blog ID will suffice) feels quite passionate about the topic of overcoming mistakes and turning them into advantages. The emphatic tone in which he leaves his post is one that would inspire many readers to heed his advice and push through the lows of life. In his own words he uses the analogy of, “when you get bucked off [a horse], you got to get back on.” This analogy, in itself, is a very effective tool that Maj. Pain uses because the analogy is referred to on a wide spread bases and is easy to associate with. While not everyone will have experienced the exact sensation of being thrown off a horse and then getting back up to ride the animal again, the commonality of the expression and the simplicity of visualizing such an event make it an effective tool to explain his point. The point is to not let mistakes or bad things weigh you down, but rather let them be opportunities to grow and learn.
Along with the analogy of falling down, he uses metaphors associated with different occupations. Each creates an understandable association with his argument that the audience will understand. One of those deals with sports, wherein a player makes a mistake [the example used is “punting the ball into the stands”, referring to football] but he forgets about that one time and works to rectify the mistake. At the same time Major Pain alludes to an idea that those who make mistakes and then overcome them are professionals, whether it is in sports or in the office. What I like in this classification is that he is shadowing toward the idea that while everyone makes mistakes, including professionals of one occupation or another, a true “professional” is one who has learned to recognize and overcome individual flaws. This type of word play invokes a desire to not just simply accomplish jobs, but become so good at a job to be classified as a professional.
Major Pain brings greater emphasis to his writing by adding to his post a powerful quote from Abraham Lincoln. “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”—Abraham Lincoln. Having this quote inserted in the text brings a lot of validity to Major Pain’s rhetoric. It gives stability to have a quote from a credible, historical figure, like Abraham Lincoln, confirm the same idea about not giving up. As Major Pain mentions, one of the major reasons that he keeps pushing for the audience to overcome mistakes is that many of us are leaders in the world. Whether they are leaders of industry or of soldiers (like he seems to be) he makes it apparent that a good leader is to be able to effectively push through personal mistakes and learn from them so that he can more appropriately lead. Who could be a better example of this idea then Abraham Lincoln?
So while I applaud Major Pain’s use of different tools as effective and relative, I do believe that mistakes, in the form of grammar and sentence structure, take away from some of the strength of the blog post. For one thing, incoherent sentences can break up the mood of what is being written and distract a reader from the message the writer is trying to relay. Though a minor thing, repetitive mistakes eventually lead to a disinterest in the writing as it becomes more cumbersome to understand what the writer is trying to portray. The post itself is captivating throughout, but a bit more refining of the writing would bring an extra level of sophistication to the argument while not distracting the reader with simple grammatical discrepancies. That being said, Major Pain does put his own personality into the post which offers the audience a glimpse at the man writing, so as to make a more personal connection and trust that the one writing is in fact genuine with his argument. And though that imagine is rough and outspoken, isn’t great get a little advice from someone who is not afraid to be blunt.
So to summarize, I do believe this post is effective in influencing its readers to overcome mistakes and use those opportunities to improve. I feel that a number of excellent tools were used and that they effectively portray what the writer is intending to proclaim. And while the mistakes in grammar and sentence structure do create a hindrance to portions of the text, the overall tone is maintained throughout the post. After reading this post, readers will be inspired to work past their own failures and become better people by learning from those mistakes.

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