DB Two: Rhetorical Appeals

Below are six different quotations from persuasive essays; pick ONE of the quotations and use your reply to identify the rhetorical strategy or strategies (of ethos, pathos, and logos) used by the author in the passage; in particular I’d like you to discuss how the diction or word choice used by the author affects the reader/audience (i.e. what is interesting about the author’s word choices in terms of their connotations). After you have replied, go back and respond to one of your classmates (replies should be at least 100 words) and engage with their observations and understanding of rhetorical appeals (do you agree with his/her analysis of the passage? why or why not? is he/she correctly understanding ethos, pathos, and logos or is he/she confused somehow?)

One “I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationialist or a civil rights leader, but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother.” (King, “Letter From Birmingham Jail”)
Two “If a stranger batters your door down with an axe, threatens your family and yourself with deadly weapons, and proceeds to loot your home of whatever he wants, he is committing what is universally recognized—by law and in common morality—as a crime. In such a situation a householder has both the right and the obligation to defend himself, his family, and his property by whatever means necessary…The American wilderness, what little remains, is now undergoing exactly such an assault.” (Edward Abbey, “Eco-Defense”)
Three “With bulldozer, earth mover, chainsaw, and dynamite the international timber, mining, and beef industries are invading our public lands—property of all Americans—bashing their way into our forests, mountains, and rangelands all looting them for everything they can get away with. This for the sake of short-term profits in the corporate sector and multimillion-dollar annual salaries for the three-piece-suited gangsters…who control and manage these bandit industries…actively encouraged, inevitably, by those jelly-fish government agencies that are supposed to protect the public lands, and as always aided and abetted in every way possible by the compliant politicians of our Western states…who would sell the graves of their mothers if there’s a quick buck in the deal, over or under the table, what do they care.” (Edward Abbey, “Eco-Defense”)
Four

“These sprays, dusts, and aerosols are now applied almost universally to farms, gardens, forests, and homes—nonselective chemicals that have the power to kill every insect, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad,’ to still the song of birds and the leaping of fish in the streams, to coat the leaves with deadly film, and to linger on in the soil—all this though the intended target may be only a few weeds or insects. Can anyone believe it possible to lay down such a barrage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life? They should not be called ‘insecticides,’ but ‘biocides.’” (Rachel Carson, “Silent Spring”)

Five “I have been teaching my livestock-handling-facility design class for eighteen years. Since around 2000, the percentage of students having difficulty with the drawings has increased. I think this is due to lack of hands-on-experience with drawing in grade school. Last semester I told by students to buy a compass to draw circles with. One girl came up to me after class and said, “Dr. Grandin, I bought a compass and I’m having trouble with my homework.” She couldn’t figure out how to draw different sizes of circles. When I looked at what she was doing, I found out she had a bought a Boy Scout compass and was tracing circles around its circumference.” (Temple Grandin, “Animals Make Us Human”)
Six “Now the old Amish carriage horses and other unfortunate equines are getting transported down to Mexico, where they’re worked and starved until they drop dead from lack of nutrition and overwork. If I were a retired Amish carriage horse, would I rather get hitched up to an old pickup truck and get sores and go hungry, or go to a U.S. slaughter plant?” (Grandin, “Animals Make Us Human”)
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