Claims Analysis-Harp03

1.”Brannan Vines has never been to war. But she’s got a warrior’s skills: hyperawareness, hypervigilance, adrenaline-sharp quick-scanning for danger, for triggers. Super stimuli-sensitive.” This is both an analogical claim and a categorical claim. The author uses two different types of claims in this instance because she compares Brannan to a warrior, and in doing so she lists, and categorizes, all different kinds of characteristics that a warrior possesses. One could say that the author used a factual claim when she wrote, “Brannan vines has never been to war”, but I would argue that this is not true. We would need to know the definition of war used in this sense, because she could possibly have “gone to war” with a neighbor, in a sport, or at work. This claim is likely being used to inform the reader about the extent of Brannan’s condition even though she had never participated in war and experienced the effects of one. Overall, it was a good claim to introduce the ideas behind the topic of her article, but it may have been better to begin by stating, “Brannan Vines has never experienced the trauma of being on the front lines of a bloody dispute” in order to maintain clarity.

2. “The Vineses’ wedding album is gorgeous, leather-bound, older and dustier than you might expect given their youth.” This is an example of an evaluative claim because it is describing the quality of the Vineses’ wedding book. This claim can be backed by supporting evidence, such as an image, but it is also an opinion. Not everyone may agree that the album is gorgeous. At first I didn’t see a reason to include this description, but I continued to read, and I realized that it was used as a metaphor to represent the couple’s lives. The book, although still gorgeous, is older and dustier than expected, just as the two went from gorgeous, young, and fit, to older-looking, wretched, and plagued by PTSD. What does “given their youth” imply about what has happened to the book (not regarding its metaphorical value)? I am not sure. Maybe they just do not look at and keep it stored away to keep from being reminded of what their, now very different, life used to look like.

3. “in soldiers, the incidence of PTSD goes up with the number of tours and amount of combat experienced.” This causal claim reveals that there is a direct relationship between the number of tours and combat experienced and the likelihood that one experiences PTSD. This claim allows us to assume that there was a study conducted regarding the number of cases of PTSD versus the number of tours and amount of combat experienced. This claim is interesting because it categorizes ALL soldiers by saying, “in soldiers”. Clearly, the claim involved at least two soldiers, but nobody knows exactly how many soldiers this pertains to other than the people who provided this information.

4. “It’s called traumatic brain injury, or TBI, from multiple concussions. In two tours, he was in at least 20 explosions—IEDs, vehicle-borne IEDs, RPGs.” This claim is once again causal. The author never defines TBI, other than explaining how it is caused by multiple concussions. However, the article never explains exactly what TBI does, it only references it as a brain injury. With that being said, the supporting evidence also backs the causal claim, explaining how the TBI originated due to 20 explosions. The “two tours” provide the reader with insight into just how many traumatic injuries he was in after just two tours, but it also leads me to believe that he was in even more than just two tours. In my opinion, that was just a sample size so the reader could understand the effects of just a couple tours.

5. “We raise the blinds in the afternoons, but only if we are alone.” There are several things one can infer from this claim. For starters, “we” indicates that there are more than one person involved. Then, “only if we are alone” reveals how the everyday lives of the people who dealt with Caleb were directly affected by his mental illness. When Caleb came home, they had to close the blinds immediately, hence, this is a causal claim. When putting the two together, one realizes that the possibility of PTSD being “contagious” is very-much-so possible because the person with PTSD is not the only one who is fighting it/thinking about it every single day. Brannan had to constantly be anxious and aware of everything she did around her husband.

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