Rhetorical Analysis Of Savage Inequalities By Jonathan Kozol
Jonathan Kozol was a writer and educator. He also became an activist. In his book Savage Inequalities, Kozol describes the problems America’s schools face. Kozol’s goal was to draw attention to the educational disparities between schools from different races and classes. These issues can be dangerous due to unsafe conditions in schools and the teacher-student ratio. Jonathan Kozol shows his readers how the society is completely neglecting these schools and the lives that they have impacted. He wants to show that discrimination in modern schools is not a past relic as many people would like to believe. He relies on statistics and first-hand experiences to highlight the inequalities in American schools.
Kozol’s work begins by introducing the reader to East St. Louis and its inequalities. His explanations of the precarious, predominantly black area can cause confusion and even disbelief. It is a dangerously crowded city, contaminated with dangerous substances. Kozol draws on the reader’s emotions to draw the reader in, then uses that advantage to compare the city with the schools of America. Kozol visits a school and finds that four of the six bathrooms do not work. Red and brown corrosion has destroyed the doors of the toilet stalls. There are no seats in the toilets. One has an old, rotted wood stump. There aren’t any paper towels or soap. A loop of wire runs near the door and contains an empty roll. This disturbing, saddening, if not downright offensive description of the school’s toilets strikes a chord inside the reader’s mind. It is possible to feel a sense of entitlement, guilt, anger, or both. Kozol is a master at evaluating these emotions and drawing out the reader to help him achieve his purpose. He wants his audience to be able to see the sacrifices teachers make to purchase supplies for their classes. He wants the audience understand the struggles of children growing up in poverty and the lack of opportunities they have. He uses a calm and rational tone. He calmly demonstrates to his readers the obvious evidence he discovered and approaches his argument accordingly. Because he is not accusatory nor outraged, his tone helped to develop trust between him & his audience. Kozol is a skilled writer with the necessary experience. His readers also trust him because he shares his knowledge. One of his stories is his experience as a teacher in Boston who couldn’t afford a room for his students. Then, he recounts his experiences in more than thirty communities and schools across the country. Because he describes his journey to over thirty neighborhoods and schools from different states, it builds credibility. He also shows that his thorough research has included both underprivileged and well-respected schools. Jonathan Kozol used his personal experiences and research from 1964 to inform his readers. Kozol draws attention to his extensive experience in school research by comparing the poorest schools in America with those in the same area who are more fortunate. He asks the question of why these inequalities exist and provides answers to his audience. He also referred to East St. Louis as a logical fallacy. The governor refused to give the grant because the city was constantly flooded by rotten sewage pipes. This is a logic error, as the governor wasn’t in a position to determine whether the money was being spent correctly. He didn’t consider the additional expenses that these slums had to pay, which was something other cities don’t have. These economically poor areas were also visited by the governor, who spent very little time there to learn about their needs.
Kozol drew mainly from his own experiences but also used many secondary sources. He used different types of literature and facts. He said that 25 percent of graduates graduated from one school. Only 17% of seniors who make it to senior year are enrolled in college-preparation courses. Twenty percent are in general education, while astonishing 63 percent attend vocational classes. This is the most common way to avoid a college education.
His work stands out because he provides a wealth of facts to support his arguments and claims. They can’t argue against facts and listen to it more.