Murphy expresses how justifying bad deeds for good is cruel by first stirring the reader’s emotions on the topic of bullying with pathos. In “White Lies,” Murphy shares a childhood memory that takes the readers into a pitiful classroom setting with Arpi, a Lebanese girl, and the arrival of Connie, the new girl. Murphy describes how Arpi was teased about how she spoke and her name “a Lebanese girl who pronounced ask as ax...had a name that sounded too close to Alpo, a brand of dog food...” (382). For Connie, being albino made her different and alone from everyone else around her “Connie was albino, exceptionally white even by the ultra-Caucasian standards... Connie by comparison, was alone in her difference” (382). Murphy tries to get the readers to relate and pity the girls, who were bullied for being different. The author also stirs the readers to dislike the bullies and their fifth grade teacher. Murphy shares a few of the hurtful comments Connie faced such as “Casper, chalk face, Q-Tip... What’d ya do take a bath in bleach? Who’s your boyfriend-Frosty the Snowman?” (382). Reading the cruel words can immediately help one to remember a personal memory of a hurtful comment said to them and conclude a negative opinion of the bullies. The same goes for the fifth grade teac...
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...nd personal story that shows the pitiful characters of Arpi and Connie that are victims of bullying at school. Then she concludes the story with a “perhasping” image of Connie and her mother at 7-Eleven transporting the readers from a classroom setting of kids bullied in front of an absentminded teacher to a sad picture in front of a store window. Considering the future, Murphy encourages the reader to evaluate their stand on cruelty and to make that difference not treat one another different. Murphy through rhetorical and tonal elements of pathos, logos, and diction expresses that cruelty in any form is wrong no matter how one tries to justify it. Doing bad for good is never right.
Murphy, Erin. “White Lies.” Models for Writers: Short Essays for Composition.
Ed. Alfred Rosa and Paul Eschholz Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2012. 381-383. Print.
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