Rhetorical Analysis: “The final bar? How gentrification threatens America’s music cities.”
A Guardian author and subeditor, Naomi Larsson, talks about three famous US “music cities” in her latest article about gentrification titled, “The Final bar? How gentrification threatens America’s music cities.” Published by The Guardian on July 6th, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, Ms. Larsson is also part of a country music organization based in London, UK, called, “Jambalaya Events.” In the article, Naomi Larsson, describes in great detail how gentrification has affected music cities such as Austin, TX. She utilizes diverse sources; facts, history, and locals within her article. Starting with Austin, TX, next, to New Orleans, MI, then ending with Nashville, TN; writer, Larson, presents the struggles, the importance, and the solutions by these three “music cities,” on gentrification, as she compares them in order. Essentially, her main point in the article, is to bring awareness to the struggling musicians living in these three cities, home to the rich history of American music and culture, as they go through a nation-wide trend called, Gentrification.
As I stated previously, Naomi Larsson utilized multiple and very diverse sources. With this said, her article was well structured from the beginning to the end. Through out her article, as she goes city by city, Naomi brings up famous trends, like current tv shows, music artists, songs, etc, to appeal and become more relatable with her readers. Her method enforces both “Ethos” and “Pathos” strongly, but also “Logos” in a sense. Following her method of appealing to readers, she then throws in facts, studies, rich history, and experiences of not only hers but locals as well, invoking “Logos” greatly, throughout her article. She then points out the problems facing each city, backs it up with a statement from a local(s), then introduces the solutions the cities have came up with. This process of stating the problem(s), verifying effects on locals, then introduction to solutions, fully shows the use of all three appeals, Logos, Ethos and Pathos. Thus, Ms. Larsson’s method of writing, her technique, within this article, is very effective in persuading readers to continue reading and understanding the effects of gentrification within the cities of Austin, New Orleans, and Nashville.
In particular, one example Naomi uses to invoke Pathos, is the opening sentence in her article, “Austin, Nashville and New Orleans have thrived on the success of vibrant music scenes. But as rents rise and noise complaints become more common, do they risk ruining what made them famous in the first place?” Such statement is a rhetorical question, that makes readers, question their thoughts about the matter but also will likely make readers think about the possibilities due to the emotional language used within the question. I believe this was the intent of the author. As I mentioned before, she also appeals to her readers by relating to them. One example of this is when she brings up “Seb” a jazz Club, a pop up version of the jazz club in the hit film La La Land and a fast food restaurant, replicating “Breaking Bad’s, Los Pollos Hermanos.” The intent of bringing these two well-known films was to appeal a sense of emotional response from readers. A few sentences later, Larrson, brings up a study and states, “According to a recent study by the Urban Land Institute, ‘the city is in the effective ‘11th hour’ of the endangerment of the live music scene’, brought on by Austin’s rapid growth — it is now the fastest growing city in the US in terms of population, jobs and economy.” Here, she quotes the study, but also, she utilizes it to enforce two appeals of Logos and Pathos. The word “endangerment” can arise strong emotional responses among readers, but she follows it with reasoning, pointing out “growing population,” proving she understands the cause and effect.
Another example of her technique of utilizing the appeals, is in the statement, “But despite this rich history, long-standing venues in Austin’s downtown Red River District are being forced to adjust to an influx of new neighbors — mostly expensive condos or hotels. Rising rents have forced venues like Holy Mountain and Red 7 to close, while noise complaints are an ongoing problem — hotels offer earplugs for a better night’s sleep.” Here we get an appeal to logos as she develops a sense of valuable knowledge to readers but also creates an emotional tone that invokes anger, sympathy, and humor. She introduces examples such as the Holy Mountain and Red 7 to further reinforce her claim of consequences relating to gentrification.
Consequently, her method in writing this article does greatly inform readers the struggles faced in these “music cities” and also persuade readers in a way to lean towards her point of view, showing effectiveness of her structured and detailed work.
1) Larsson, Naomi. “The final bar? How gentrification threatens America’s music cities.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 6 July 2017, www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jul/06/gentrification-america-music-cities-austin-nashville-new-orleans. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.