Critical response to five articles/readings
In the five identified articles, the main theme under consideration is Aristotle’s argumentative concepts. These are the Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Ethos is the form of persuasion where the persuader convinces the person of interest based on his good moral character, his goodwill, and good sense (Henning, 1998). However, in the changing world, where one’s influence is now based on the outward appearance or the material possessions, the perception of ethos has changed, being based not on a person’s moral character, but on his influence. Pathos is the persuasive argument based on engaging the party’s emotions to make him agree with the persuader. By creation of some emotional sense in relation to the subject of interest, the persuader gains support of the person he or she addresses.
Logos is another Aristotelian principle that is used in basing an argument. It involves convincing the other party basing one’s arguments on logic. Logical appeal may be inductive based on creation of a conclusion from a series of similar results over a period. Alternatively, it can be deductive where a certain amount of similar results in the past is taken and used in creation of a conclusion. The conclusion does not always apply in all cases. When deducting the argumentation employed in any story or article, it is important to understand the background of the characters and the topic in question. It is also important to understand the context in which the character was compelled to convince others of the correctness of his argument.
In many situations in life, one finds themselves in a position where they require applying theoretical principles in order to convince others of their argument. Some such situations are portrayed in the five given stories and articles. The unifying elements in the five different articles are their basis of argumentation and the principles involved. There is application of Aristotle’s argumentation though they vary based on the situation fro example in the story “Where are you going, where have you been?” there is a man, Arnold, and a 15-years-old girl, Connie. Arnold uses the Pathos argumentative approach to convince Connie to come along with him, since he threatens her family’s safety if she refuses. In the story by Arthur Clarke, “The Nine Billion Names of God”, the theme is about monks trying to come up with all the possible names of God, which would consequently lead to the end of the world, as God’s purpose for the man on earth would be completed. In this story, relating to the moral character of monks, there is application of the Ethos principle where the monks put out their argument to the computer operators.
In the short story “Man to Send Rain Clouds”, the argumentative principle applied by the two brothers to the priest was by appealing to his emotions, as they knew that the priest had a helping heart, so they were certain that he could not refuse to help them. In “The Declaration of Sentiments and Revolutions”, the women are outraged, fighting for their freedom and their rights. This occurrence is explainable based on the logical theory that is the Logos Aristotle’s argument, where women are convinced based on the logical evidence available. “My people” is a speech by Chief Seattle towards the white settlers about their disregard for ancestral land. This emotive speech applies the Pathos principle, as it reaches to the human character on reverence for land and the dead ancestors.
Where are you going, where have you been?
The author of this article’s theme can be described as informatory since the author provides information about how kidnappers use persuasive language when they want to get their victims. The claim of this article is about Connie who is left alone at home only to encounter a stranger who wanted to kidnap her. The stranger seemed to know a lot of information about Connie and was persuasive in trying to get Connie go with him. The audience of the article include parents and young individuals who may fall victim to the tactics used by kidnappers. Parents should be careful about the well being of their children and should ensure that they are well informed about the danger posed by kidnappers. The tone that has been adopted in the article is descriptive. This is because the article describes how events takes place in the story. In one instance, the author narrates how Connie related with her mother and other members of her family including the father and elder sister (Oates, p. 1). In addition, the author offers a description of how Connie is visited by the stranger who wanted to convince her to follow him (Oates, p. 2-6).
The author also employs the use of pathos, ethos, and logos in this article. In respect to ethos, the case presented by Arnold Friend is a good example. He uses all forms of reassurances to convince Connie that he is harmless despite being a stranger to her. He even identifies Connie’s family members and friends by name, and this leaves Connie surprised (Oates, p. 3). Pathos is used in the article when Arnold Friend tries all means possible to convince Connie to heed to his demands while pretending to be in love with her. He is very persuasive in his mission and always insisting so as to lure Connie voluntarily into his missions (Oates, p. 3-4). In respect to the logos, Arnold Friend is portrayed as using convincing reasons to persuade Connie to follow him. He insists that he wants to take her for a ride in his car together with his friend. Arnold is consistent in his quest to convince Connie about the importance of them going out together. In some part, he says “This is how it is, honey: you come out and we’ll drive away, have a nice ride. But if you don’t come out we’re gonna wait till your people come home and then they’re all going to get it” (Oates, p. 5).
Joyce Carol Oates (1991). Where are you going, where have you been? The Ontario Review, Inc., pp. 1-6.
The Nine Billion Names of God
This short story by Arthur C. Clarke is based upon a Logos argument, as the monks, based on their logical understanding on religion, conclude that God’s purpose for the man on earth is to figure out all the possible names that one can call Him (Clarke, 1953). By use of this reasoning, they are able to convince the suppliers of the machines to send two operators along, though the suppliers are initially skeptical about the idea. This skepticism is diminished in the minds of the operators in the conclusion, as they depart, just as the last names are printed from the machine and entered into the holy books, the stars start unexplainably going out (Clarke, 1953). In this theory, a logical explanation is conveyed by use of reasoning, depending on available factual evidence. There is also effectiveness in the supporting evidence in strengthening of the argument, as in the going out of the stars in this article. The author of this story is a credible science fiction writer; hence, his reputation makes the readers believe in his works and are hence persuaded based on his portrayal of evidence.
The argumentation posed in this story however is not backed by sufficient evidence but only in the monks’ beliefs hence would be hard to convince the audience of the truthfulness in it. However, their claim is aided by the fact that they have vast knowledge in the subject matter; that is theology, and their purpose being to fulfill their obligation in terms of religion. One’s reputation can heavily influence their position in an argument as is seen in this text. For example, in the current age the people who are able to argue their opinions and convince others may include human welfare rights advocators, religious leaders and motivational speakers. This is due to their confidence in their arguments and the portrayal of a righteous intention in the argument. Personally, I find argument based on the Logos principle is insufficient as the person may be pursuing selfish interests but relies on the good reputation he has to win another’s trust.
The man to send rain clouds
In this short story, Ken and Leon rely on appealing to the priest’s emotionality by addressing an emotional situation that warrants empathy. On his action of providing the holy water for their grandfather’s grave, the priest is driven by the Pathos principle, as he is morally guided by the principles of ethics in priesthood not to deny a brother in his time of need. His emotions lead him to help, even though these rituals are not in line with Christian burial practice. Hence, even though their preference of practicing their ritual over a Christian burial is higher, he feels obliged to help (Silko, 1969).
The writer is Leslie Marmon Silko, whose works in Native-American literature are thorough as she has a comprehensive understanding of their lives, having grown up in the Laguna Pueblo Reservation (Author Biography, 2012). This makes her work comprehensive and, based on her reputation of excellence in the field; her work becomes a dependable reference for scholarly works. Hence, based on the ethos principle, it is possible to analyze educational material on argumentative material, citing this short story as an example.
In the current world, many occurrences arise, requiring one to use emotive reasoning, as opposed to logical reasoning, especially with the growth of commercialized advertising. Advertisers use tactics that appeal to the target audience by portraying that their new product will fill a void that the available goods in the market cannot satisfy. Hence, advertisers use this emotive argumentation in creation of a desire in consumers and convincing them that the available products in the market do not fulfill the void and desire in the consumer.
Declaration of sentiments and resolutions
The theme of this article was to advocate for the advancement of the female rights during the nineteenth century. The thesis of this article is the birth of the feminist movements in the 19t century America. The article elaborates on the initiatives that were to be taken by women to ensure that their rights were respected by the male dominated society. The author was a champion of women rights and she was bitter when the officials at the World Anti-Slavery Convention that was held in London in the mid 1980s. She mobilized other delegates to hold a meeting that was to discuss women issues once they returned home. The target audience for this article was the women lot of the 19th century who were alienated in the male dominated society. Women rights were not respected during this time and the author wanted to awaken them to stand up and fight for their rights. The author sounds frustrated by the tribulations that women are forced to go through in a male dominated society. Her tone therefore bears many frustrations.
The article employs the use of various literary devices such as pathos, logos and ethos. For the pathos, the author is emotional in her appeal to the audience for the need to change the status quo. She noted that “…women feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights…” (p 74). In respect to logos, the author organizes her argument in such a way that her theme is well articulated. The author talks about the frustrations that women have been subjected to in the past by the male dominated society. She goes further to identify the various aspects in which women have been alienated. She concludes by asserting the need for the status quo to change and women accorded what is due to them. In articulating ethos, the article gives credibility to the arguments presented. In one instance, the author asserts, “he has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead” (p. 73). Also, the author points out that 200 women and 40 men attended the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention (p. 73). This is in reference to what women are subjected to in the male dominated society.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage. History of Woman Suffrage (1881-1922; rpt. New York: Arno and the New York Times, 1969.
Deducting from Chief Seattle’s speech on the white European settlers, the disparity between the thinking of the natives and the settlers is considerably evident. His speech predicts the overtaking of the white settlers and the deterioration of the environment. This happened with the rampant prevalence of colonization in the 19th and 20th century and the global environment deterioration that has been experienced especially in recent years. The chief does not however disregard the possibility of an agreement being attained in future, claiming that eventually time may lead to formation of unity among them (Chief Seattle, 1854). This shows the moral position of the chief hence he is able to influence his audience by application of the Ethos argumentative position.
In his speech, it is deducible that Chief Seattle speaks from an emotive perspective. The chief understood his traditions, hence would not be diverted in his reasoning. When addressing his fellow citizens, he uses the Pathos argumentative concept by appealing to their emotions in relation to the traditions in understanding the importance of land preservation. In addition, being a man of known upright morality, he addresses the fellow citizens who view him as wise, being their leader and chief. Under this concept, the Ethos principle can explain the reason as to why he influences his crowd with what he says (Henning, 1998).
Especially in the current stage, where environmental degradation is rampant, the influence of moral leaders would be great if they applied the same principles as applied by Chief Seattle in addressing the public on the importance of natural preservation.
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