Pathos In The Great Debaters

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The movie , “The Great Debaters”, was produced by Oprah Winfrey and directed by Denzel Washington, the movie was written based on a true story, the movie revolving around the efforts of a debate coach and his team to be recognized among white debating teams, such as Harvard University. In a time, when the Jim Crow laws were common in the South and lynching mobs were around, the debate team coach Melvin B. Tolson, helped raise his debate team of young black students to the top. The debate team of Wiley College faced many colleges to be recognized and finally in the end winning a debate against the reigning debating champions, Harvard University. One of the debaters who caught my attention was James Farmer Jr., the youngest on the team that started out as an alternative. James Farmer sought recognition from adults and wanted to show everyone he was capable of debating. James Farmer incorporates a lot of Ethos and Pathos into his speech making, allowing him to leave his audience filled with emotions and in awe. Although James Farmer interested me, especially the way he presented his final speech, James Farmer and I are very different in the way we deliver our speeches. James Farmer Jr. wants to prove himself to his coach, his team, and his family. He feels he is not being treated equally because of his age, thus he works hard to be recognized. One of the earlier scenes in the film depicted his father, James Farmer Sr., a man with a PHD, being threatened by white farmers because he accidently killed their pig. James Jr. wanted to stand up for his father, but could not. This goes to show you, that even a prestigious black man in this time can be killed by a couple of rednecks and... ... middle of paper ... ...irmative and presented my ideas based on facts and history. I am mainly a logos type of speaker using very little pathos appeal, only using pathos based on the audience I am presenting to. James Farmer used his pathos appeal to win over the crowd based on his experiences and what was happening at the time to blacks. This film influenced me greatly and how I might be able to go about in my speech making. James Farmer Jr. and his debate team delivered their speeches with a lot of emotion, drawing their audiences in on their side. James Farmer used his own experiences and struggles to drive his speech making, while trying to prove himself to everyone that he was not just a child. Although James Farmer and I are different, especially in the way we present our speeches, I admired the way he used his knowledge and emotions to help win the last debate

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