Red White and Beer: a Rhetorical Analysis of America's Retail Patriotism
935 WordsNov 22nd, 20124 Pages
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
In the article, “Red, White, and Beer,” author Dave Barry uses humorous observation and irony to show the reader how beer companies use patriotism to sell their product. He also points out how even though beer commercials target men, there is also a sense of sexism since there are no women used in the ads. The purpose of his satire is to show how silly it is for advertisers to combine the love of one’s country with the act of drinking alcohol. And he uses his comical style of writing to allow the reader to easily relate to him and the point he is making, which is that patriotism should not be confused with a group of guys hanging around drinking beer. It is evident throughout his essay, even while using humor and satire, that Barry does not approve of companies falsely uniting patriotism with their products just to make more money.
The title of Dave Barry’s essay is a pun to show how beer ads have become fully integrated with the idea of American pride; the colors red, white, and blue are already associated with patriotism since they are the colors of our country’s flag. The fact that he replaces “blue” with “brew” is enough to give you an idea of what his article is about even before reading it. He uses the phrase “retail patriotism” to describe how much the companies’ advertisements are aimed at having you believe real patriotism is shown by a bunch of sweaty men building a house or shaking hands while drinking beer. “I saw one commercial,” writes Barry, “strongly suggesting that the Statue of Liberty uses Sure brand underarm deodorant” (535). It is clear in this sentence that Barry sees quite a bit of patriotism being used on TV to sell more products other than just beer.
“If you want to talk about real patriotism, of course, you have to talk about beer commercials,” says Barry sarcastically (534). Barry goes on in the same sarcastic tone to write about how the commercials proclaim that their beer is “born and brewed in the U.S.A.,” and that there...