The Hate U Give: Rhetorical Questions

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Updated: Apr 29, 2021
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In Angie Thomas’ story” The Hate U Give” she declares that injustice will not be tolerated by anyone in any for. She supports her claim by saying, “I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down.” Her purpose is to inform others of a true story of injustice due to gun violence in order to help others who are going through a similar situation. She uses a blunt tone with people scared to stand up for what’s right because she wants to encourage them to tell the truth about their situation and to be brave.

Thomas addresses injustice through telling a true story in her book. It takes place in 2017 in Garden Heights and in wealthy suburbs in the city. Thomas takes on the point of view of Starr, who is a 16-year-old girl, who is constantly being pulled in multiple directions. The main conflict Starr faces throughout the book is finding her voice after her best friend, Khalil was shot in front of her. Thomas uses multiple rhetorical devices to persuade her readers such as a hyperbole to show how Starr is beginning to speak up. An example is, “Everybody and their momma” this is an exaggeration because not everyone and their mom showed up to the party. Thomas also uses a metaphor as well by saying, “A little thicker than those toothpicks on the runway”, this is a metaphor because she compares models to toothpicks. Additionally, Thomas uses an allusion to Tupac’s song, Thug Life, which stands for the hate you give little infants f**** everybody. This is important because throughout the book the problems that the parents go through influence the children’s lives and ultimately determines their path in life. In the book, Starr’s life is being directed in two different directions by her parents and Khalil was ultimately killed due to his mother’s decision to choose drugs over him. Thomas speaks to people who are scared to speak up for what’s right because throughout the story the main character, Starr is constantly having to fight for what’s right instead of what people want her to say. Thomas also depicts a scared tone through Starr’s many nightmares but shifts to an angry tone to portray how she wants the reader to feel Starr’s pain slowly turn into rage. She persuades others by using emotion with a scared tone, she writes “Officer one-fifteen yells at me, pointing the same gun he killed my friend with at me.” This is effective because it makes the reader feel Starr’s fearfulness toward the officer. She also uses credibility by speaking mournfully about people who have been killed due to gun violence, by saying “It’s also about Oscar. Aiyanna. Trayvon. Rekia. Michael. Eric. Tamir. John. Ezell. Sandra. Freddie. Alton. Philando. It’s even that little boy in 1955 who nobody recognized at first-Emmett.” This establishes Thomas’ creditability because it shows she is educated on the long list of people who have lost their lives due to gun violence and who have never gotten justice.

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Throughout the book Thomas addresses multiple themes such as injustice, community, race, belonging, bravery, family, and speaking up. The main message Thomas wants to portray to the reader is injustice will not be tolerated. Another message Thomas wants to depict is violence is never the answer to any problem. She says.” I’ve seen it happen over and over again, a black person gets killed just for being black.”, this is effective because it is relevant to society today and others can relate to seeing stories similar to this on the news. Another key point Thomas wants to get across is it’s always right to rely on your families’ advice. She supports this key point by saying,” Daddy’s instructions echo in my head: Get a good look at the cop’s face. If you can remember his badge number, that’s even better.” This quote supports the claim because everyone has a person they look to for advice and that piece of advice can save your life, like it saved Starr’s when she was with the cop who killed Khalil. Throughout the book Thomas uses vivid imagery to help the reader understand the pain Starr is going through such as, Khalil’s shooting and the riots that take place in the book.

In conclusion, Thomas uses multiple appeals and rhetorical devices to help the audience learn that although injustices happen everyday it is not right to ignore them, instead they need to speak up and use their voices to stand up for what’s right even if they have to stand alone. Just like Starr’s fight with herself to find her true purpose and her voice leads her down a different path than what others saw for her. She saw injustice, found her voice, and made a change.   

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The Hate U Give: Rhetorical Questions. (2021, Apr 29). Retrieved from