A Rhetorical Analysis on Sarah Smarsh Research Findings

Paper Type: 
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1423 Words
Date:  2021-03-10

Sarah Smarsh is a journalist, an educator and an eloquent public speaker. She has written many articles which raise rhetorical questions. There is always a misconception about certain ailments and conditions only being prevalent among the poor in the society. American children are born in a rich society which is branded by the economy of America being superior to all other economies thus the misconception they are perfect in both health and wealth. Smarsh's essay on poor articles on poor teeth begins with the following line I am bone of the bone of them that live in trailer homes. The line illustrates that she is familiar with the conditions of children who are not well up in the society as she grew in a trailer home. It is unexpected of children in America to have poor teeth which is actually the case. America is the world's most advanced country in terms of medical care and thus it paradoxical that the children born in this country have poor teeth. Smarsh's article reveals the perspective which is shaped by her own childhood experiences as she grew up. The way issues are covered depend on the perspective of the author and to a great extent the background and experiences of the author. Sarah Smarsh uses rather strong words and sentiments such as If you have a mouthful of teeth shaped by a childhood in poverty, dont go knocking on the door of American privilege illustrate how poor teeth can make one disadvantaged. Having poor teeth in a rich country is a paradox.

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The essay titled poor teeth by Sarah Smarsh contains a character named Pennsatucky who represents the around 45 million Americans who live in rural areas and are characterized with impoverished life. Smarshs essay even though it is evident she is familiar with the lifestyle of the poor ,brings out another perspective that relates the element of having poor teeth and how it has an effect of making one remain poor and the cycle to go on and on. The poor in the society have not taken any initiative to get their dental health to be covered by insurance. There are also a few dentists and teeth physicians located in the rural areas. The financial incapability makes these people not to be more inclined to invest more in their dental health and thus this is passed on to their off springs. A high proportion of the poor are not exposed to education and thus there are oblivious of the importance of dental care. This predicament becomes a vicious cycle which goes on and on. The government has ignored dental care programs. For example the Obama care omitted dental care and thus affecting the lives of nearly 126 million Americans who have no dental insurance (Grant, 2015).The well-off who are mostly politicians are not conversant with the problems of those living in the rural areas and when passing laws deliberately omit provision of dental care as they are under the assumption that Americans are able to access dental care

There are jobs which one cannot get as a result of poor teeth. Education gives one power to get jobs and financial freedom but poor teeth as a result of a poor background goes on to limit ones employment to key job that would free the individual form the clutches of poverty. The upper class of the united states of America always blame poor teeth on poor eating habits of those possessing crude and corroded teeth which is contrary to the truth(Grant, 2015). A majority of those with crooked teeth like Smarsh often get them as a result of falls and knocks they get as they grow up. Also as a result of their water supply in the rural areas. The upper class fails to understand the predicaments of the poor. This lack of awareness is seen in the policies passed by the government which exclude dental healthcare. Majority of American citizens pay out their own pocket the services of the dentists. This is very expensive affair which the poor cannot afford when faced with other burning issues such as food. America is a super power and a predicament such as poor dental hygiene is expected to be prevalent in poor third world countries, it is a paradox and rhetoric that around 126million Americans dont have access to dentists (Grant, 2015). The government always blames the facilities but in actual sense the problem is as a result of underinvestment in dental care. Sarah Smarsh narrates an ordeal she went through during her third grade in school where one of her teeth rotted to extent of breaking into two. After when it broke is when the author went to have an x-ray. This ordeal shows how the poor are not informed and the services are far and out of their reach, this explains poor teeth in a rich country.

Residents with poor teeth are always despised and looked down upon by the privileged in the society as explained by Sarah Smarsh's quote Privileged America judges harshly the mouths that chew orange Doritos, drink yellow Mountain Dew, and breathe with a sawdust rattle. It is often hard to get good jobs when you possess poor corroded and crooked teeth. This translate to more poorness in the sense that, the poor have a hard and rough time to get jobs and also are not able to access dental care services thus will continue being poor but in a rich country. Many authors miss the actual point when writing articles about the life of the poor. One has to pass through the real life of the poor to be able to identify with their problems and thus come up with articles which reveal the real issue and problems and causes of their crooked teeth. The rich are judgmental to those possessing those ugly, crooked and corroded teeth (Howard, 2007). The solution to this issue is the government investing more in dental care and ensuring it is available to the poor in United States of America. Sarah Smarsh is frustrated by the fact that those who look down upon the possesses of poor teeth are the ones responsible for passing medical health care bills that would alleviate this poor dental hygiene but they do the opposite by deliberately omitting dental care from the bills. For instance the Obama care has helped many citizens to access healthcare and dental health is not captured I that program thus the problem of poor teeth continue to exist and to eat the poor.

Sarah Smarsh's article creates a general view with which the poor view dental care and importance of hygiene. Majority of the poor dont have permanent jobs and they work temporarily in many firms as casuals where in the course of their work they become prone to knocks and falls which contribute to them losing some of their tooth. Loosing teeth is not a big deal and seeking dental care as well is not a primary need. They seek Medicare when the situation is much prolonged and worse off. Thus by the time they are seeking Medicare their dental health is far much deteriorated. Howard, (2007) Cited that the nature of their work force them to move now and then and is thus difficult to get medical cover for their teeth. Dentists do not easily agree to give them medical cover because their incomes are not very certain and they are not stationed at one location for a considerate amount of time. In the course of their movements their lose some of their belongings and crucial medical records making it difficult for new dentists to follow up their dental care health history which is important for them to get quality dental care. Lack of substantive investment in dental care has led to many professionals opting out of this career which does not pay well thus adding to the already acute shortage of personnel in this field. The predicament of poor teeth in a rich country thus continues to be experienced in the super power nation and the vicious cycle of the poor remain the poor just continues going on and on as the poor are characterized with poor dental care which resulted to poor teeth. On the other hand poor teeth limit their employment opportunities which would lift up their fortunes. The rhetoric question will remain to haunt America until the time when the government will review its policies to suit and serve this problem.


Grant, S. (2015). Born with Teeth. Booklist, 111(16), 10.

Howard, S. C. (2007). BY THE NUMBERS!. Teacher Librarian, 34(3), 24.

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A Rhetorical Analysis on Sarah Smarsh Research Findings. (2021, Mar 10). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/a-rhetorical-analysis-on-sarah-smarsh-research-findings

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