Rhetorical Analysis of Middle School Status

Features | April 14, 2017

The words immortalized by our tweenage Facebook selves are often lost in the ether, only brought back by a snickering friend or an old relative who is in too deep. Today I drag my statuses of 2009 back into the limelight; not for egoism, but for an in depth rhetorical analysis. Strap in, kiddos, it’s about to get real Thesaurus.com in here.

The sentiments expressed here are multifaceted and have myriad connotations, and I will start this analysis with the repetition of “tomorrow.” “Tomorrow” functions as an analepsis (repetition), in what can be posited as an allusion to William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The speech of the eponymous cursed refers to the resignation of man to his fate, much as I was resigned to the undulating passage of time. Hair growing, only to be cut short, only to grow again. The analepsis and amplification of “tomorrow” reveals a precocious comprehension of the inevitability of death.  

This piece has a lot to unpack! Primarily, the usage of “al” from the Latin alii, meaning “others.” The contrast of the classical language with the prefix of “noo,” an English slang originating in the mid 19th century, acts as synecdoche for evolution of modern language. Synecdoche, or “part representing the whole,” can also be assumed to be the function of “Erasers,” written here to represent “forgetting.” This is further confirmed by the lack of object in the first sentence, implying that the author has even forgotten the object of the eraser’s hurt.