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Ethos, Pathos and Logos Essay

Updated April 21, 2022
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Ethos, Pathos and Logos Essay essay

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What is rhetoric? It began 2500 years ago when rhetoric was being used by the Greek, or rhetorike which can be roughly translated to the study of written, spoken and visual language. It’s the in depth examination of how the speaker, audience and the purpose of the text are all connected. Rhetoric can appeal through ethos, pathos and logos. In many cases, authors can present the same idea or prompt but the pieces of their writings serve different purposes and incorporate the three rhetorical appeals in different ways. For instance the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that landed the first humans on the moon. Thousands of articles and pieces of art have been made for that and each piece can be interpreted differently because of rhetoric. The Times published an article as well as Ayn Rand, William Shire and Herblock of pieces depicting the spectacular event. Each piece served a clear purpose, contained an interaction between the audience, appealed to rhetoric and was very effective.

In The Times article Man Takes First Steps on the Moon it’s purpose is clear; to inform the audience of the details and facts of the moon landing. Of course the article does include inspiring rhetoric and expresses the concept of human success, it primarily focuses on providing clear information to readers. This information is presented so that it appeals to logos and ethos. The newspaper’s high status and recognizable name gives the article ethos. Readers can assume that the writer is trustworthy, well informed and professional. This inevitable ethos helps to appeal to logos because the audience can be sure that any information suggested is true and reliable. The articles uses logos as well. Since the purpose for the piece is to inform using specific details, facts helps everything stay concentrated. It’s also important to realize that the facts presented in the article are clear and to the point which makes it easier for readers who have been keeping up with the launch and those who haven’t. Although the appeals to pathos is scarce in this article there is some. The pathos is consequence for the appeal to ethos and logos already established.The appeal to ethos builds trust between the speaker and audience, logos is appealed through letting readers feel pride in witnessing humanity’s greatness. In the section Greatest moment of time, reading about all pride and excitement people around the world felt also leads the audience to relate and feel the same way, making this section an effective appeal to pathos.

The July 16, 1969, Launch: A Symbol of Man’s Greatness, a commentary by novelist Ayn Rand, was written for the Objectivist, a publication that values individualism, freedom, and reason. Knowing this fact helps to shed light on why Rand predominantly uses appeals to pathos. Because she so strongly believes in freedom and uniqueness, Rand uses a lot of language with positive connotations that show her beliefs. For example, she states: man’s greatness; triumph; long, sustained, disciplined effort; total dedication; and man’s highest potential. All of these words make the audience feel proud to be part of the successful space launch. Rand also builds her ethos by using realistic imagery in her second paragraph. She paints a very clear picture in the minds of the audience and proves that she was actually at the launch and therefore knows what she is talking about. Rand’s appeals to logos are very little. She states basic facts about the launch, but she focuses on making captivating emotional appeals because of who her audience is. Since she writes for a paper whose philosophy targets those who value freedom and independence, appeals to emotion can help readers feel proud of man’s accomplishments.

With the intention of being spoken after the ‘event of moon disaster’, the speech In the Event of Moon Disaster presents the event as a proud, yet tragic, moment in American history through its use of reflection and pathos. It was a piece written by William Safire, President Nixon’s speechwriter, for Nixon to deliver in the case of some sort of disaster occurred during the 1969 moon landing. The speech spoke about Edwin Aldrin & Neil Armstrong, the astronauts who would be trapped on the lunar surface in such a disaster, & along with the sacrifice of the men who went to the moon, discussion of what this means to Americans, as well as continuing the exploration despite this catastrophe. Directly, it is addressed to the American public; however, as a Presidential speech, the whole writing process came with the awareness that the entire world would be listening, which influenced the word choice & purpose of the speech. Pathos appeals predominantly in many areas of the speech; word choice, such as ‘brave’, ‘unknown’, ‘sacrifice’, ‘brotherhood’, and ‘heroes’, helps to raise strong feeling in the speech. As well as comfort & reassurance to the general public, along with paying respect to the astronauts. For example, the line ‘Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied’ (Safire 33), uses strong emotional language – pathos – to persuade the speech’s audience that exploration of space is still necessary. Many American citizens might oppose the support to the space program after a disaster that cost American lives; as such, Safire needed to find a way to convince them that further exploration was still required. The combination of pathos & the automatic ethos of President Nixon was used to convince them of this. Since the entire world will be watching Nixon deliver this speech, he must make sure that other countries know the US is not going to give up on space exploration because of one error. Convincing the other countries relied, of course, primarily on the automatic ethos of President Nixon. Overall, this speech uses pathos & ethos to appeal to both American citizens and the rest of the world in the face of a national disaster.

‘Transported’, is a cartoon drawn by Herblock, on the subject of the July 1969 moon landing. The cartoon illustrates a picture of a man sitting on the moon, eyes trained on a television set – and meanwhile, the earth below him is covered in dark, clouds, the words ‘war’, ‘poverty’, and ‘prejudice’ written into them. It uses strong emotional language and imagery to provoke an immediate emotional response when looking at it; it demands attention, as well as represents its meaning quickly & clearly to anyone who takes a moment to scan it. The latter is an extremely important factor – it must be able to make an impact on its reader, whether they’re just skimming the newspaper or giving it a more careful read. However, when the cartoon is examined, many meanings can be made known from its content. Obvious at first, of course, is the cartoon’s dark & negative nature; it is a striking observation of what the world gives its attention to. Instead of working past problems at home, the world has its eyes set towards the stars, watching the moon & the men who venture towards it. They become blind to the problems right here on their own world as they look to another. Herblock quickly points out this lack of attention through his cartoon. When viewed in such negative way, it can perhaps be said that the purpose of this cartoon is to persuade Americans that the money & attention given to space travel should spent on fixing the problems right here on Earth, or at least to remind them that the moon is not the only place they need to be paying attention to. The piece uses pathos to appeal to the American people, and becomes a reminder that the moon is not the only place they should be keeping an eye on.

Rhetoric is significant in writing, it creates the difference between a good piece of art and an extraordinary one. It gives art the advantage to have its own appeal to audiences. Throughout the texts we examined we can see the common idea of presenting the 1969 Apollo 11 Mission but they were all brought differently but equally effective. Readers will continue to see rhetoric in anything they get the chance to read, observe and examine; like the Greeks before us we will get to see this strategy in everything around us.

Ethos, Pathos and Logos Essay essay

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Ethos, Pathos and Logos Essay. (2022, Apr 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/ethos-pathos-and-logos-essay/

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