Essay Color Key

Free Essays
Unrated Essays
Better Essays
Stronger Essays
Powerful Essays
Term Papers
Research Papers




Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

Rate This Paper:

Length: 831 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Red (FREE)      
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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 logos is strengthened, and the audience is able logically to follow his or her thoughts, and perhaps come to agree with the claim made. hooks traces the causes of a separation from one’s roots to lay the ground work for her argument. The majority of her examples attacking the academic world are based upon her interpretations of past experiences, and not on facts or statistics. Despite hooks’s many references to her personal experiences and views, she only cites one study (All Our Kin) to help support her claim. While the reader may understand hooks’s reasoning, her essay is not as strong without the support of others’ opinions and studies.

Through her emotional appeal, bell hooks helps the reader to reach a deeper understanding of her argument. hooks relates to her audience in a warm, inviting tone that echoes the sounds of her roots. Her pathos successfully appeals to the heart as well as the mind. hooks finds power through expressing her emotional battles between her background and the academic class. She writes, "To a southern black girl from a working-class background who had never been on a city bus, who had never stepped on an escalator, who had never traveled by plane, leaving the comfortable confines of a small town Kentucky life to attend Stanford University was not just frightening; it was utterly painful" (hooks 87). Her fight for a bridge between these two worlds inspires others to follow her path and take notice of her advice. hooks’s pathos describes her pains, fears, and triumphs, and allows her readers to relate to her experiences.

bell hooks uses techniques to invite the audience she feels is excluded from works aimed at an educated group. By addressing her audience with such inviting terms as "folks," hooks incorporates her writing and her past effectively to open the restricted academic world. Another example of hooks’s methods to include uneducated, lower class readers is her elimination of footnotes from her published literature. She states, "I [tell] people that my concern [is] that footnotes set class boundaries for readers, determining who a book is for" (hooks 93).

bell hooks speaks deeply about her love for her family and her desire to preserve their influence upon her life. Her writing is effective because it makes her audience think and absorb the information. Despite the class a reader may identify with, bell hooks’s writing invites all to question their actions to preserve their own background. By using ethos, pathos and logos, hooks allows her readers to gain trust in her information, and logically to follow the information provided, as well as feeling their hearts move in reaction to her pain and triumph.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Ethos, Pathos, and Logos." 123HelpMe.com. 31 Oct 2014
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=154465>.




Related Searches





Important Note: If you'd like to save a copy of the paper on your computer, you can COPY and PASTE it into your word processor. Please, follow these steps to do that in Windows:

1. Select the text of the paper with the mouse and press Ctrl+C.
2. Open your word processor and press Ctrl+V.

Company's Liability

123HelpMe.com (the "Web Site") is produced by the "Company". The contents of this Web Site, such as text, graphics, images, audio, video and all other material ("Material"), are protected by copyright under both United States and foreign laws. The Company makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the Material or about the results to be obtained from using the Material. You expressly agree that any use of the Material is entirely at your own risk. Most of the Material on the Web Site is provided and maintained by third parties. This third party Material may not be screened by the Company prior to its inclusion on the Web Site. You expressly agree that the Company is not liable or responsible for any defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of other subscribers or third parties.

The Materials are provided on an as-is basis without warranty express or implied. The Company and its suppliers and affiliates disclaim all warranties, including the warranty of non-infringement of proprietary or third party rights, and the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. The Company and its suppliers make no warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the material, services, text, graphics and links.

For a complete statement of the Terms of Service, please see our website. By obtaining these materials you agree to abide by the terms herein, by our Terms of Service as posted on the website and any and all alterations, revisions and amendments thereto.



Return to 123HelpMe.com

Copyright © 2000-2014 123HelpMe.com. All rights reserved. Terms of Service