The way Killingsworth breaks down the basic tropes that we incorporate into our lives is extremely useful. Society associates a trope as a figure of speech, but Killingsworth believes that tropes are more than just a figure of speech, which is an interesting way to look at it. Tropes help us classify and study other functions of appeals (Killingsworth 121). The appeals are metaphors, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony. Most of us know what metaphors and irony are and have heard of synecdoche and metonymy, but most of those people can not identify what they are if given examples. Before reading this essay I could not tell you the difference between metaphors and metonymy if I had a gun pointed at my head.
Killingsworth's examples and explanations of these four appeals were necessary for me to understand why certain sayings are not understood by people of different ages or cultures. His explanations for these tropes and how they are related to the way we mentally connect the things that someone says with something we are accustom is told in a more explicit fashion. "If someone says that two things are similar to one another, try thinking of their differences. If someone says that two things are different, try thinking of them as similar" (Killingsworth 134). This knowledge is definitely necesary for understanding what we do in this class and how we look at written works by rhetorical theorists in different ways. Without knowledge of what these tropes are and how they work, we would not be able to function in this class or find humor in someone not understanding irony.