Assertion Evidence and Commentary

A statement that answers the question
asked in the prompt.
 Ex: What do you claim about the
author’s use of language? What
rhetorical strategy was used? What
method did the author use to convey his
The evidence should be used to back up
your assertion.
 The evidence comes directly from the
text. It is an example from the passage
that supports the claim.
 It should be a direct quote or
paraphrased line from the given
 This is the part of the essay that explains
why the evidence is significant and
effective in conveying the author’s
Any animal with teeth enough will chew off its
leg to escape a trap. Human beings behaved
similarly when chain gang imprisonment swept
through the labor-starved South during
Reconstruction. Beaten and driven like
maltreated beasts, shackled to one another
around the clock, prisoners turned to selfmutilation to make themselves useless for work.
They slashed their bodies, broke their own legs,
and crippled themselves by cutting their
ASSERTION (what do
you claim about the
author’s use of
EVIDENCE (where is it
in the text)
it significant and
effective for the
author’s purpose?)
He effectively uses the
rhetorical mode of
throughout the
“Any animal with
teeth…trap”(par. 1)
The Evidence:
Allows reader to
understand that chain
gangs dehumanize
their members.
Conveys Staples’
seemingly negative
opinion about the
chain gangs.
Elicits feelings of
horror, anger, and/or
sympathy from
readers. (appeal to
“Beaten and
driven…useless for
work” (par. 1)
Question #2: How does Jack use the beast to control the other boys?
The author,
William Golding,
has Jack use the
fear of the beast
to control the
boys and make
them afraid to live
without the
protection of his
ensuring that he is
in control of the
entire island.
Pg. 36 “Ralph’s right of course. There isn’t a
snake-thing. But if there was a snake we’d
hunt it and kill it. We’re going to hunt pigs
to get meat for everybody. And we’ll look
for the snake too—“
Chapter 2 At the beginning of this novel, Jack is
unsure about the snake-thing, but he is willing to
consider that there may be something out there. His
manipulation of the boys is clearly subconscious at
this point and he seems to be just pacifying the
younger boys.
Pg. 91 “Bollocks to the rules! We’re strong— Chapter 5 In the middle of this novel, Jack is
we hunt! If there’s a beast, we’ll hunt it
beginning to deliberately use the beast to
down! We’ll close in and beat and beat
antagonize Ralph and undermine his authority. I
and beat!”
don’t think he intentionally uses the beast as much
against the other boys (right now-it’s just Ralph) as
he will later in the novel.
Pg. 150 “I gave you food, and my hunters
Chapter 9 At this point in the novel, Jack is clearly
will protect you from the beast. Who will
using the beast to intimidate the others and
join my tribe?”
challenge them-and Ralph’s leadership.
Pg. 160 ‘“They’ll try to spoil things we do. So Chapter 10 At the end of the novel, Jack is
the watchers at the gate must be
threatening the boys and telling them to worship the
careful…and then, the beast might try to
Lord of the Flies by offering the head of each pig
come in. You remember how he
killed as a sacrifice. He also tells them they did not
crawled…He came disguised. He may
kill Simon, but the beast. Because they are horrified
come again even though we gave him the by the idea that they killed their friend, they would
head of our kill to eat. So watch; and be
rather accept that Simon was the beast in disguise
careful….Perhaps, we’d better keep on the than admit they viciously killed an innocent boy.
right side of him (the beast), anyhow. You
Jack fully knows he’s exploiting the boys and enjoys
can’t tell what he might do.” The tribe
his power over them. You can clearly see that he will
considered this; and then were shaken, as if use this pagan “religion” of the Lord of the Flies to
by a flow of wind. The chief saw the effect control the boy’s behavior in the future.
of his words and stood abruptly.’
Brent Staples’ effective use of the rhetorical mode of
comparison allows him to convey the horrors of chain
gangs. He begins his essay by explaining how “any animal
with teeth enough will chew off its leg to escape a trap.”
In an attempt to emphasize the dehumanizing treatment
of the members of the chain gang, he connects the
concept of the trapped animal to the chain gang
members. By referring to the men as “beaten and driven
like maltreated beasts” who are willing to turn to “self
mutilation to make them selves useless for work.” Such a
connection immediately allows the reader to understand
the horror of the chain gangs staples sees it. These graphic
details elicit emotions of sympathy for the men, and the
reader begins to feel anger towards the institution that
allows such a practice; the reader is then prepared for
Staples’ message.

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