The Types of Audience that Urrea Appeals to in the `Devil`s Highway`

TheTypes of Audience that Urrea Appeals to in the ‘Devil’s Highway’

Prompt 1:Audiences of the book

In the book, ‘The Devil’s Highway,’ Urrea uses the threemotifs of appeal i.e. ethos, pathos, and logos to proffer awarenesson the dangerous modern odyssey. Urrea touches on the odysseys oftwenty-six men traversing through “The Devil’s Highway,” themost perilous desert known to man. Throughout the story, Urrea offersa diverse view of the whole system: Mexican gangsters, border patrol,coyotes, scorching highway, and betrayal. In this regards, Urreaappeals to people who have an interest in learning about the dangersof crossing the Mexican-American border, investigative journalists,human rights activists, and audiences interested in understandingworld politics, economics, and social identities. However, the authoruses pathos to appeal to the emotions of the audience as a means ofempathizing with undocumented immigrants who risk their lives tocross the Mexican-American border, as well as appeal to people whohave questioned the dysfunctional policy of migration. Urrea says,“The deaths, however, that fill the agents with the deepest rageare the deaths of the illegals lured into the wasteland and abandonedby their coyotes.” (20). This helps to appeal to people to stop theracial profiling that they have cultivated towards the immigrants. Infact, the author pushes unimportance of human life so that theaudience can establish a connection with the immigrants. Usingperturbing descriptions, Urrea tells the story in a compassionatemanner. Urrea uses stark and compelling portrayals to appeal to theaudience Urrea depicts the view of desiccated corpses, the taste ofurine, and the torment of seeing a person dies. For example, inchapter 9, Urrea asserts, “Your muscles, lacking water, feed onthemselves. They break down and start to rot.., your brains sparks.Out. You are gone.” (128-129). This assertion compels the reader tosympathize with the migrants.

In the openingparagraph, Urrea describes the situation as

“Fivemen stumbled out of the mountain pass so sunstruck.., One of themwandered back up a peak,. They were burned nearly black, their lipshuge and cracking, what paltry drool still available to them spumingfrom their mouths in a salty foam as they walked…,They were drunkfrom having their brains baked in the pan, they were seeing God anddevils, and they were dizzy from drinking their own urine, thepoisons clogging their systems.” (1)

By using theabove description, Urrea appeals to the emotions of the audience sothey can empathize with the men and perhaps realize the dangerousjourney that the men have chosen to undertake.


Urrea, LuisAlberto.&nbspThe Devil`s Highway: A True Story. Back BayBooks, 2008. Print.