Here are the elements which will help you with your analysis of Ben Okri’s article “ ‘I can’t breathe’: why George Floyd’s words reverberate around the world”.

The rhetorical situation is that the sender is Ben Okri, a Nigerian writer and poet. Okri’s article was published in The Guardian newspaper, and Okri targets a wide range of receivers, as he covers a topic with universal relevance.

The composition of Okri’s article can be split into three main parts depending on the topics Okri addresses. Moreover, the composition revolves around the way George Floyd’s dying words relate to the current context to show why they have affected people so deeply. 

When it comes to linguistic and argumentative features, this is a broad analysis point that may involve general language and style of writing, rhetorical devices, and forms of appeal

Okri’s style of writing is mostly formal, and also has many poetic features. 

The main rhetorical device used in the text is repetition. Okri also uses metaphor and antithesis to highlight his message. 

Okri uses a mix of all three forms of appeal in his article, but appeals to pathos are most frequent. 

Further help

Do you want additional help with analysis of non-fiction? See our general guide to non-fiction analysis.