Thursday, November 14, 2019

Ethos, Pathos, and Logos :: Argument

Strength of Argument: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos bell hooks’s essay, "Keeping Close to Home", uses three important components of argument (ethos, pathos, and logos) to support her claim. hooks develops her essay by establishing credibility with her audience, appealing to the reader’s logic, and stirring their emotions. She questions the role a university should play in the life of a nation, claiming that higher education should not tear a student away from his roots, but help him to build an education upon his background. bell hooks gains the trust and credibility of readers through knowledge of the topic at hand, establishing common ground with the audience, and demonstrating fairness. Ethos is the distinguishing moral character of a writer that instills faith in the audience. bell hooks is a well respected writer and teacher known for her strong opinion and academic background. She establishes her credentials through her personal struggles with the university system and her efforts to maintain her own individuality and background. The reader gains respect for hooks as she courageously resists the pressure to adapt to her new academic life. For` example she says, "It [is] my responsibility to formulate a way of being that [will] allow me to participate fully in my new environment while integrating and maintaining aspects of the old" (hooks 92). bell hooks writes not only to help others find strength to hold on to their pasts, but for her own resistance as well. Her audience is assured by her motives to educate and inform. Whereas hooks’s personal experience srenghtens her ethos, a certain rigidity used in addressing the audience simultaneously weakens her credibilty. For example, hooks’s tendency to label academics and groups unlike herself pushes the reader to see her as self-righteous. She separates people into classes of those she percieves as right and those she sees as wrong. Thus, she creates a smaller audience of readers and weakens her message. This tendency causes her argument to sound one-sided and prevents a formation of common ground. hooks’s efforts to help others preserve the background that "enable[s] one’s self development in the present, that sustain[s] and support[s], that enrich[s]" however, prevents her voice and opinions from being ignored (91). bell hooks’s use of logical evidence is not as strong as her ethos. With the aid of facts and studies, an author’s

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