Language Analysis


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The article Is Wholesome Foods Wholesome by Field Maloney concerns itself with dispelling the various misconceptions held with regard to Organic-Foods. In this text, I identify the audience which the author targets as well as how Maloney goes ahead to establish connections with his chosen audience. I also identify the rhetorical devices which the writer employs most effectively as well as the tone of writing and why it is appropriate for this text.


At first instance, the target audience as far as the article is concerned is not apparent. However, on a closer look, one feels that the target audience of Maloneys article includes all those who for one reason or the other cherish whole Foods, apparently without proper facts. This is largely clear in the later sections of the article where the author seeks to dispel some of the popularly held beliefs regarding Whole Foods by poring cold water o some banners used by the same. Maloney seeks to present the fact to all those who are in awe of Whole Foods and in the course of doing this, he takes on banner after banner and exposes the same to scrutiny. With regard to the claim on some banners to the effect that Whole Foods help the small farmer, Maloney avails to his target audience information and concrete data on who the main players are in the organic foods marketplace. He noted that only five to six farms control the organics foods marketplace and hence the assertion that small farmers benefit is any way is largely misrepresented.

On another occasion, Maloney deflates the view that Organic Foods actually contribute towards an Eco-conscious society. To this, he is of the opinion that in all probability, the Organic Foods (in this case tomatoes) from Chile contribute more to burnt fossil fuels in the course of their transportation as opposed to those say from New Jersey which may be grown with chemicals.  Though Maloney does not in any way discourage the consumption of Whole Foods products he seeks to bring down all the hype with regard to Organic Foods by presenting facts on why they in his own opinion, they are overrated. His choice of audience in this case includes all those who are overly affectionate about Wholesome Foods.

Connection with audience

It is important to note that for a writer to enhance the attention advanced to him by his audience, he or she must find a way of connecting with them. Otherwise, inability to establish connection with the audience can lead to instances of lack of concentration and hence interest on the part of the audience. Field Maloney in this case builds on his connection with the audience by the application of a number of strategies including asking a number of questions as the text progresses. The questions he asks in this case seem to be designed for purposes of stimulating reasoning reasoning. In this regard, readers can follow up what Maloney is passing through as they seek answers to the questions he floats. Secondly, Maloney writes in the second person so as to establish a connection with the audience. This is essentially by the use of pronouns your and you throughout the text.

By using the second person, Maloney goes ahead to offer advice and impart insight on a number of things touching on organic foods. It is however important to note that in some instances, Maloney makes some transition from the second person to the third person. However, even when he does that he has already established connection as well as some level of intimacy with the audience earlier on as a result of the utilization of the second person. It can also be noted that Maloney uses fragments to formulate a conversational voice that sucks in the reader. This is largely effective in this case as the audience may be lacking extensive knowledge in Maloneys choice of topic, that is, organic food. Lastly, Maloney use of a conversional tone throughout the text ensures that the reader is engrossed in the text all the way to its conclusive end.

Rhetorical devices employed

Essentially, rhetorical devices are supposed to be used as writing aids. In this case, Maloneys use of rhetorical devices goes a long way to enhance his writings persuasiveness. This he accomplishes by the use of a number of rhetorical devices with rhetorical questions being his most preferred rhetoric device. Here, most of the questions Maloney asks do not require an answer as such. In my opinion, these questions are largely meant to stimulate thought and enhance connection with the audience. For instance, in the first paragraph, Maloney asks his readers whether Whole Foods have an Achilles heel and whether the organic movement has any skeletons in the cupboard, that is, whether it has any hidden dark secrets.

Further, when it comes to ethos, pathos and logos; Maloney uses the same in the text of his article to further persuade the audience. According to Harris (2003), for a writer to demonstrate to his readers that all he ideas the presents are valid and hence can be relied upon, there is need to use three persuasion means namely logos, pathos and ethos. When it comes to ethos, Maloney from the word go projects a character that seems convincing enough for the reader through the text. This he does by showing his tight grip as well as understanding of the topic. When it comes to pathos, Maloney appeals to the emotions of the reader by pointing out that those whom are supposed to benefit from the sale of Organic foods i.e. small farmers end up being marginalized by the big players who dominate the market. Last but not least, the author uses logos to persuade the reader largely through the stimulation of the process of reasoning. This he accomplishes by asking a number of rhetorical questions throughout the text which are meant to enhance the thinking process of the reader.

Tone of writing

When it comes to the tone of writing, it is important to note that it largely brings out the attitude of the author towards his audience or subject. In that regard, t may be appropriate for us to look at the various words that the writer has used and how they describe his attitude towards the subject under concern. Further, we can also look at the writers phrasing so as to describe his tone. In a general way, Maloneys tone throughout the text or at least for most part of text can be described as expressing hate, anger and mystery. When it comes to mystery, the author conjures the same by floating the question whether there are some dark secrets with regard to whole foods. With regard to irony, exception can be taken for the authors claim that Whole foods (despite thedark secrets) enjoys red carpet treatment and enjoys profits that can only be described a wild. 

Maloneys expression of anger is clear in quite a number of instances especially when he describes the various headings on the Whole Foods banner. An example of this is when he labels the claim by the World Food banner on helping the small farmer a semantic sleight of the hand. With regard to the phrases, the author in the third paragraph of the text seeks to know whether Whole Foods is as virtuous as it would want everybody to believe. This sentence in my opinion is meant to stir up distrust and dislike and it adds to a mysterious feeling about whole foods. On his position with regard to the organic food movement, Maloney does not shy away from making his position known. Through the use of tone only, Maloney despises and reprimands Whole Foods for some slights which to him are largely unethical.


In conclusion, it is important to note that Maloney remains consistent throughout the text in his use of the various rhetorical devices. This goes a long way to persuade the reader as regards the relevance of the article. The persuasion in this case is further enhanced by the writers utilization of a tone appropriate for the context at hand.


Harris, R.A. (2003). Writing with clarity and style: a guide to rhetorical devices for

contemporary writers. Pyrczak Pub

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