Rhetorical Analysis Of Ayn Rand 's The Fountainhead Essay

Rhetorical Analysis Of Ayn Rand 's The Fountainhead Essay

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Rhetoric by definition is the art of persuasion by speaking and writing; being able to sway someone else’s opinion to match or appear similar to your own. Aristotle has given further definition to rhetoric. He created the rhetoric triangle. The rhetorical triangle uses the three basic credentials that people use to make decisions. They are ethos, or credibility of the author or speaker; pathos, or ability to draw emotion out of your audience; and finally the logos, or the logic of the message being sent out and determined valid by the audience. I feel that one of the best example that I could find of the rhetoric triangle is the character Ellsworth Toohey, in the novel The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. This character uses every part of the rhetoric triangle. Whether it was intended by the author or not, Ellsworth Toohey uses it to perfection. The rhetoric triangle as a whole is one of the most basic things we do as people but it is one of the hardest things to master on this planet. But once mastered, it can be a great instrument that can be played in various ways to get things done.
The first part of the rhetoric triangle is the ethos. Ethos, in a nutshell, is the author of what is being presented and if he or she can be trusted. In the Fountainhead, Ellsworth Toohey uses ethos by graduating from Harvard, becoming a humanitarian and then becomes a highly decorated writer for a prestigious newspaper. So in return, people are more open to what he says and recommends. Ethos is used by everyone, every day. When you are interviewing for a job, ethos plays a huge part in whether you’ll get it or not. In this world, people care about credentials and what you have done in the past. In the art of persuasion what you have done matters and ca...


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... “author” establishes a “message” that is sent and then accepted by the “audience”. It may only be fiction that Ayn Rand displays this power of rhetoric, but it is clearly there and unveiling the power that can be obtained with it. This triangle is used all the time; politics, business, and many other things. Pertaining to public speaking every part of the triangle is necessary. Ethos needs to be established straight up; the credibility of the author needs to be shown and present throughout. Pathos is needed to get the audience feeling something; whatever feeling that is needed. Logos needs to be constantly present or the entire message is lost and no one will care about the emotion because all of the facts and logic are nonexistent. The rhetoric triangle at its essence is communication and getting an idea across to another. Without it, nothing would ever get done.

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