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TOPIC: Abolition of Man – Analyzing Ethos, Logo
TYPE: Essay (any type)
: 18.04.2017 06:00
The purpose of this assignment is to get you to think critically about how a particular piece of reading (in our case, Lewis’ essay) participates in its given genre. But it’s not easy to speak about The Abolition of Man in terms of a single genre. We talked in class about some of the general features of critical essays and academic lectures, how The Abolition of Man is a combination of the two (for the sake of simplicity, I’ll refer to it as an essay, as that’s how we read it). A feature of both genres is a careful interplay of ethos, pathos, and logosâ€”that is, a weaving together of character, logical argumentation, and emotional appeal. In less rigorous essays, logos and pathos can become easily mixed up in such a way that the persuasive force of the argument becomes dependent primarily on an appeal to emotions. This is not the case with The Abolition of Man. Whether one agrees with Lewis’ conclusions or not, the argument is crafted so that the emotional appeals are derived from the logic, not imbedded within it. This helps to establish a particular ethos for Lewisâ€”an aura of rigor, honesty, and moral seriousnessâ€”that makes him all the more convincing. For this assignment, I want you to select and analyze three passages from The Abolition of Man. The first passage should be a clear example of Lewis’s ethos; the second passage, logos; the third passage, pathos. I also want you to provide a precise definition of each (ethos, etc.) to lead off your discussion. You should be able to write about one full page of analysis for each passage. The total word count for this assignment should be no less than 1,000. Remember that Rhetorical Analysis is not concerned simply with deciphering what a text means, but HOW specific devices within the text generate specific effects for the audience. Example paragraph structure: 1.Definition of ethos (etc.) tailored to your chosen example. 2.Description of Lewis’s original audience, their particular values, and their historical/cultural context (especially as it pertains to your example). 3.Present your chosen example. Be sure to use summary to contextualize it within Lewis’s argument. 4. Explain how the example of ethos (etc.) successfully appeals to specific values held by the audience.
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