The most notable sentence that stands out and pens up the narration is, “most statistics tell us breast cancer is genetic, hereditary, with rising percentages attached to fatty diets, childlessness…. What they don’t say is living in Utah may be the greatest hazard of all” Here and in the opening ofthe essay she uses pathos. (9). From that sentence, she is going to be rebutting the stigma behind the cause of breast cancer, at least in her family’s experience. Terry Tempest Williams then dives into her family history where she explains her logic behind the anomaly of breast cancer.
In lines 10-31 , says she is a self-proclaimed Mormon with roots in Utah. She explains that her family was healthy and didn’t live life with risks that are attached to the cause of breast cancer “–no coffee, no tea, tobacco, or alcohol. … Traditionally, as a group of people, Mormons have a low rate of cancer” (14). Tempest Williams next presents the problem she is trying to convey. She narrates the memory that happened to her and her family in “September 7, 1957” “The bomb, the cloud… We pulled over and suddenly, rising from the desert floor, we saw it clearly, this golden-stemmed cloud, the mushroom…
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Within a few minutes, a light ash was raining on the car” (44). It ll comes together for Terry Tempest Williams at that moment. “It was at that moment I realized the deceit I had been living under. Children growing up in the American Southwest, drinking contaminated milk from contaminated cows, even from the contaminated breasts of their mothers, my mother- members, years later, of the Clan of the One Breasted Women(50)”. She is not only establishing her credibility but keeping the reader engaged with more of the raw emotion presented.
In Mormon culture authority is respected and members are expected to be obedient. They are taught not to rock the boat or make waves. Terry Tempest writes, “But one by one, I have watched the women in my family die common, heroic deaths… The price of obedience has become too high (102)”. As Ms. Williams recounts the many family members who have lost their lives needlessly, she starts to question why. She writes “l must question everything, even if it means losing my faith (1 17)”. Williams realized that she could no longer accept things at face value, and needed to dig deeper for the truth.
She knew that government officials did not care about the public’s health and it was up to the people to expose the real danger behind the nuclear testing. The United States in the 1 950’s was involved in the Korean War, and ifyou weren’t for nuclear testing you might as well been communist regime Terry Tempest Williams said. She conveys that much had been written about the “American nuclear tragedy’ she quotes an official government document it stating ‘The Atomic Energy Commissioner, Thomas Murray said, “Gentlemen, We must not let anything interfere with this series of test, nothing” (59).
Terry Tempest Williams then brings evidence of historical events to the table by using logos. “The Day We Bombed Utah, or more accurately the years we bombed Utah… ook place from January 27, 1951 through July 1 1, 1962” (53). She brings Irene Allen vs United States of America court case into the mix where twenty-four test cases, representative of twelve hundred plaintiffs, sought justice and compensation from the United States government for cancers caused by nuclear testing in Nevada.
Initially, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, but the conclusion in April 1987 overturned Judge Jenkin’s ruling of awarded damages to the family’s that had Tempest Williams up in arms and enraged wanting to take a stand and make a difference. Williams then recounts her ersonal protest, starting off by using an exasperating metaphor. “The women couldnt bear it any longer. They were mothers. They had suffered labor pains but always under the promise of birth. The red hot pains beneath the desert promised death only, as each bomb became still born (147). With this pain and suffering these women felt all driven by different experiences, ten women trespassed into the town of Mercury and the time had come to protest with their heart. The authorities came. The women were taken to a building and questioned in which they replied “We are mothers and we have come to reclaim the desert for our children” (168). This was Williams’s way of protesting and being an activist. No more was she going to sit back and be silent. This is another area she uses ethos in showing her credibility.
She concludes her essay narrating the rest of her harrowing event. Williams and the other nine women were released in the middle of the desert. What the authorities didn’t realize is that this war was far from over. She was searched from top to bottom, and found was a pen and paper. When the guard asked what it was Terry Tempest Williams replied “weapons” in meaning that she is going to write and document these events, and she has. Opening the eyes of any people and raising the question, if we should sit back and be led blindly by the government.