Rhetorical Analysis: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson      

Updated April 20, 2022

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Rhetorical Analysis: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson       essay

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Bryan Stevenson, one of the most influential and profound African American lawyers who tells us a remarkable story of his life experiences, and the lesson he learned throughout his life. Stevenson dedicated his career and life to represent people of color, those who were poor and were treated unfairly. In the book he tries to shed some light on the topic of the U. S criminal justice system being corrupt and biased. After reading a little about is life, it gives a bit of understanding as to why he is so motivated to help those who have been wronged. I believe that the targeted audience for this book is for people outside of the African American community. He wants to create a way for people who are not a part of the African American community to have a look at what people of color go through in their lives. Stevenson also experienced racism in life. To many of the readers who are African American see Stevenson as a strong and fearless hero who fought for what he believed in. Reading this unforgettable story demonstrates how he contrived many arguments against the death penalty, the broken justice system, the claims on why he believes that the system was flawed, and he backs up his arguments by using personal experience, emotional language, statistics, and facts; Just Mercy is a very inspiring book which deserves to be read.

Stevenson applies ethos in the book using his personal experiences and legal background gives to the credibility. As Stevenson being a civil rights lawyer he uses personal examples of the corrupted system that he witnessed. In the introduction he discusses his spectacular achievements as well as including facts about him going to Harvard. The audience would believe that his qualification would make him more believable. Stevenson’s personal life also appeals to ethos, for the facts that he didn’t have an easy life. Growing up poor and having to work hard to get where he is today, he to can relate to people he talked about in these stories. By him achieving his dream, in a way captivates his readers by making himself more likable and reliable. For many of the cases that he fought he had accurate sources in order to win his cases which he will continue to talk about throughout the book. Thinking about it in this way can attract the audience to want to read more about Stevenson beliefs.

Along with using ethos to persuade his reader he uses pathos as well. Stevenson uses pathos in specific words that he uses when writing the book. By using pathos he uses emotion for his readers to be able to relate and get a better understanding in what he was going through. Stevenson creates a deeper connection between the audience and the people that he talks about in the book. The audience can sympathize with the anger, pain, and sadness that Stevenson and the other convicted and wrongly accused prisoners are feeling. He creates a very emotional story by using the examples of what he had witnessed in the justice system. For example, in the second chapter Mockingbird player Stevenson was meeting with Walter and he states in that moment “his lips began to quiver, and he clenched his fists to stop himself from crying” (22). After reading that one line I too could feel Walters’s frustration and pain. Just the words that he used could allow me to sympathize with Walter and feel more engaged to continue to read more. Last but not least we have logos which are used very effectively throughout the book. By using logos Stevenson is trying to raise awareness and give the audience the opportunity to get a better understanding on how the U. S criminal justice system works. Using logos builds reliability and provides the readers with evidence in order to believe what Stevenson claims. For examples he claims that “One in every fifteen people born in the United States in 2001 is expected to go to jail or prison” (15).

Stevenson enlightens us a great deal about the judicial system. He argued that the death penalty was despicable and wrong and shouldn’t have been enforced on those who were innocent. Stevenson provides a good amount of evidence to support his claim. In the introduction his focus is on the incarceration rates, which he states many facts upon the matter. There was also one fact that Stevenson quoted in the book that stood out to me was “One in every black male babies born in this century is expected to be incarcerated” (Stevenson 15). Growing up being African American I’ve witnessed many colored people being wrongly accused and convicted for crimes they didn’t commit just because of the color of their skin made them a target. With this book I would say it plays a major role in the Black Lives Matter movement just because it shows a story of what has happened to many African American Males over the years in the criminal justice system. Throughout the book Stevenson use of rhetorical strategies and appeals which makes the book more effective. Stevenson expresses his point of view from many different angles. He uses each appeal to make his argument stronger and to get his point across to many of his readers. He uses all the rhetorical strategies pathos, ethos, and logos to illustrate his view on the corruption in the criminal justice system and government, as well as his view on death row. I believe that by using these strategies, Stevenson brings the audience on the same page as him. With the support of his background history, evidence, and choice of wording, Stevenson persuades the readers on the importance of the issues that African Americans face today in the American system.

Rhetorical Analysis: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson       essay

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Rhetorical Analysis: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson      . (2022, Apr 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/rhetorical-analysis-just-mercy-by-bryan-stevenson/


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