Ethos, Pathos & Logos

Essay One

Grier, in his essay asserts that the 2016b election campaign is divisive for the larger American population. Further, the conclusion from the essay is based on the notion that there would be no other significant gains regardless of the winner in the general election. In fact, the summation of the text is that the Republican Party is more inclined towards whiter, religious and older citizens. In contrast, the Democratic Party is tainted as one that is aligned towards a less religious, younger and more diverse population. These conclusions outline the basic fact that the next president regardless of their party inclination will have a daunting task of bridging a gap that they contributed in making. The writer identifies religion, race and other basic demographic measures as the leading sources of this disunity. Accordingly, the divisive nature of the election does not mean well for the future of the country based on the aforementioned discussions. While this is true, it is not a unique occurrence and has been happening ever since the birth of democracy. The paper makes the mistake of assuming that the general election is solely responsible for the divisive nature of democracy, something that is not true. Even if this were true, then the specific general election would not be solely culpable.

The two parties that govern the country are identified as the leading forces in the divisive nature of election. While this is very true, it is unique for American parties and has been the norm in many other countries. In fact, most of the democratic countries in the world have more than two political parties through which leaders seek power. Additionally, the country’s democracy has maintained such political structure ever since the crafting of the constitution. If the political parties have been causing division among the Americans, then it has been in all elections. It is a fallacy to claim that the 2016 general election is the sole custodian of division through the two main parties in the country. The writer in his own wisdom further likens the two parties to icebergs floating in different directions. Truly so, the author identifies the correct cause of division in the country. It is, however, not true that division is only experienced during the 2016 election. Political parties, including the Republican and Democratic Parties, continue to exert division throughout the year by supporting different agendas both in parliament and in public. Lastly, the very nature of division between different parties is not a permanent issue but is subject to change based on the ideologies held regarding different issues. It cannot therefore be assumed that parties will continue to exert divisive forces in future without basing the same on scientific evidence.

The paper identifies changes in fundamental demographics including ethnic and racial diversity as well as aging population as sources of division. In addition, the rising levels of education have been identified as causes through their role in reshaping party coalitions. While it is true that there are changes in demographic measures, the magnitude of the change is no cause for alarm. Further, there is no direct link between the demographic changes and the advent of division in the country. The relationship between the two variables is only indirect and is occasioned by the incidence of the 2016 general election. This negation of facts assumes that there would be no negative effects were the election to be held at a different time. The only problem associated with the 2016 general election is its inability to prepare the country for the “inevitable disagreements” (Grier, pp 3) anticipated. According to the author, the election is contributing to the partisanship that is already being witnessed in the country. In advancing the arguments, the author uses examples of scenarios used in the current campaign. For instance, Trump’s swap that Obama may have been born in Kenya and the follow-up comment that Clinton had made the charge first is identified as a possible cause of division. It is assumed that the African American voters will be inflamed by the recent comments further adding to the current division. However, the conclusions drawn from the example are only theoretical and based on probability. There is no actual reason to believe without doubt that the voters will react in such manner. Ultimately, the author fails to draw a link between the changes in demographic state of the country and the onset of division among Americans.

In furthering the arguments, the author identifies the 2016 general election as contributing in the “deepening of the crisis that has hobbled the US for much too long” (Grier, pp 4). Accordingly, the two parties become more dissimilar because of the differences in their ideologies and composition. For instance, the Republican Party is now more religious, older and whiter compared with the country as a whole pointing a deepening problem. In contrast, the Democratic Party is less religious with a younger and diverse population of Americans. However, the fact that the parties are becoming dissimilar does not mean that they have transformed in totality. For instance, the Republican Party is not an all white party but is now less sensitive to minority concerns. These are not enough grounds to cause to widespread division in the country partly due to the very structure of American governance. In laying out these claims, the author is fearful of a scenario where one party ascends to power and fails to look into the concerns of the opponents. However, this cannot be the case in the US where governance is advanced through institutions. Moreover, the 2016 election is not solely responsible for the anticipated division in future years.

Clearly, the conclusion that the 2016 general election is divisive is not only untrue but also fallacious in its very least. The association between parties and division validates the very fact that the latter is not a reserve of the 2016 general election alone. Rather, the nature of political parties across the world dictates that they exert a divisive force throughout their existence. It cannot therefore be assumed that the division witnessed or anticipated is a reserve of the 2016 general election. In addition, the divisive nature of political parties is not permanent but is subject to change due to political realignments in the country. Further, the role of demographic changes in the advancement of division is not clearly identified in the text. Consequently, therefore, the author fails in drawing a clear link between the two variables thus exposing the claims laid to mere speculation. This essay concludes that the claims laid out in the text are not true to warrant such a conclusion.


Essay Two

In the article, Surrogacy: the experiences of surrogate mothers, Jadva et al, (2003) explore the experiences and motivations of surrogacy. More specifically, the psychological consequences of surrogacy as suffered by the surrogate mothers are examined. The study interviews thirty four surrogate mothers in drawing out the conclusions through different variables. The study is based on the suggestions that surrogate mothers may grow attached to the children borne and rescind their decisions thus failing to relinquish the children to the commissioning children. Ultimately, the study finds no substantial evidence of negative psychological consequences resulting from the arrangement of surrogacy. While the study reveals valid points through research, the use of rhetorical features is equally effective in communicating the results. The use of rhetorical features including form and organization, word play and figurative language is central to the effectiveness of the research.

In advancing the arguments of the text, Jadva et al, (2003) rely on the use of textual form and organization for effectiveness. The nature of the audience that the research is intended is important in the selection of this rhetorical feature. Clearly, such a paper is intended for the people in the academia field and those in the administration of surrogacy. As thus, they are ardent readers who cannot easily get bored when reading and do not consider reading a hobby but part of their daily lives. Consequently, therefore, the authors are sure that the readers will complete the entire text and actually look forward to the conclusions. In this paper, the authors use a rhetorical strategy where they build from the least to the most crucial points. The intention with this rhetorical feature is that the paper builds a lasting impression in the minds of the readers thus increasing its readership. For instance, the larger part of the paper’s introduction consists of literature review and basic findings from other texts (Jadva, pp 2198). As thus, most of the readers have prior knowledge of the writings and only use the introduction to refresh their minds and get an idea of where the authors are coming from. This notion is based on the fact that ardent readers tend to remember what they read last. Ultimately, this rhetorical feature is important in ensuring that the readers remember what they have read by having the most crucial points towards the end of the text.

Still, the authors employ the use of wordplay as a rhetorical feature ion communicating the results of the study. In this undertaking, the paper employs different devices including anaphora and parallelism thereby maintaining the effectiveness of the text. Anaphora is particularly used extensively in the text to advance the objectives of the study through repetition of words and phrases. In addition, keywords such as surrogacy, women and pregnancy are repeated in succession throughout the text thus imparting a lasting experience on the readers. In fact, the author opens up the paper by introducing the concept of “surrogacy” before exploring the media coverage of “surrogacy” (Jadva, pp 2197) in the next sentence. Still, the entire paragraph discusses the foundations of surrogacy including the two types of surrogacy. Surrogacy is not the only word used in the rhetorical feature of anaphora as pregnancy also finds itself in a similar position. The phrase “during the first few months of pregnancy, and during the last few months of the pregnancy” (Jadva, pp 2199) portrays both anaphora and parallelism. The two parts of the phrase have a similar structure that portrays the rhetorical feature of parallelism. In addition, the feature of anaphora is evidenced through the repetitive nature of the word pregnancy and the subsequent phrases.

The paper is rich in the use of figurative language as a rhetorical feature thus enhancing its effectiveness. Obviously, the paper would have communicated the results effectively even without the use of rhetorical features. However, the integration of the different concepts of rhetorical appeals to the logos, pathos and ethos of the readers makes the delivery of the paper even more effective. The use of figurative language is used to communicate messages other than their literal sense thus spicing up the paper even further. That notwithstanding, the nature of the paper limits the usage of such rhetorical thus contributing to its ineffectiveness. For instance, a comparison of the current results would have been more effective through the use of such devices as metaphors and similes. In so doing, the authors would have attained a better comparison with results of past studies conducted in earlier years.

The paper is very extensive both in its scope and study as evidenced by the voluminous results discussed. Further, the authors are effective in the communication of the results to the right audience through the employment of effective measures. Part of this effectiveness is attained through the use of rhetorical features such as textual form and language as well as wordplay and figurative language. The results of the study are better communicated through the use of rhetorical features and even fail where the same is not used. Essentially, therefore, the use of rhetorical features is central to the effectiveness of the paper including the communication of the different results.


Essay Three – The word “retard”

It is common to come across people referring to others as retarded especially when they are faced with mental challenges. Today, however, the use of the word retard has decreased owing to numerous campaigns against the use of the word. In the US, the President has signed into law a bill that prohibits the use of the word in the context of mental challenges. Even when used in contemporary world, the word retard is used in relation to its other meaning of delay. There are campaigns to have the word stricken from the English language owing to the demeaning nature of its application. In part, and largely so, the changes in the use of the word has been sparked by cultural changes in the areas of its use. For instance, the use of the word may spark negative feelings in the US but still be used comfortably in other societies. Nonetheless, there is a huge debate regarding the use of the word retard and its place in the future world. In this context, therefore, the word has undergone a series of changes regarding its use in the English vocabulary.

There are ancient records of the use of the word retard dating back to pre-industrialization era. In fact, the word retard is recorded to have been first used in 1489 with the same meaning that it has today. At the time, its exact meaning translated to impeding, hindering and keeping back progress. Although the word retains similar meaning in its usage, it has been modified to reflect a replacement for the words dummy and idiot. The change has not been a spontaneous event sparked by a drastic change in society but is a result of continued cultural changes over time. Indeed, the change in its meaning can be attributed to several centuries and is not associated to a single event in history. In addition, the change in the word is not just limited to its meaning but extends to cover an alteration in its nature over time. In this respect, the word is most popular when used as a noun and not a verb as it was commonly used more than 200nmyears ago. Still, changes can also be traced regarding the pronunciation of the word resulting from an alteration in its meaning.

Despite having its usage traced to the 13th century, its use in the print media is traced to 1704 when it was first used in a newspaper article. In its usage then, the word had a direct meaning of slowing down or diminishing progress of something. In this instance, the newspaper article detailed how the title of the king of Spain would have retarded or slowed down his fame. Even when the context in which the word was used in the article is read today, it still translates to diminishing or slowing down of progress. The successive years witnessed a surge in the use of the word to reflect similar meanings or slightly different nuances of the word. In 1720, for instance, the word was used in an American journal to portray some sort of hindrance. In so doing, the journal translated the meaning of the word retard as “to hinder”. Albeit negligible, the changes in the meaning of the word in the 1700s were significant and important in understanding the cultural transformation of the word. It is at this time that the word was first used as a both a noun and a verb to mean “delay”. This change resulted in the broadening of the use of the word to be used in other grammatical scenarios. These changes are in spite of the word retaining its true and constant meaning over time.

In the next century of 1800, the meaning of the word retard is recorded as having changed slightly to reflect different instances. For instance, The Courier applied the word retard as a replacement to insinuate the concept of slowing down. Although similar to the meanings attributed to the word in the former century, the use of the word reflected a slightly different nuance in meaning. The lack of significant change in the meaning over the two centuries is attributed to the fact that the English language underwent very little evolution at the time. Still, it did undergo changes in its application as evidenced in its use in The Georgia Telegraph in 1849. In this situation, the use of the word reflected the meaning of preventing thus bringing in a slightly different meaning in its scope. The most significant change, however, occurred in 1895 when the word was used in a book about mental deficiency to describe mentally handicapped people. The use of the word in the book reflected a change in the nature of its application resulting into continued reference of mentally handicapped people as being retarded.

In the 18th century, the word gained popularity and prevalence in its use to describe mentally disabled persons. This is despite the word being used in many other publications to refer to the concept of preventing or holding back. Despite the word beginning to evolve significantly, the world still maintained the definitions of preventing and delaying to mean the same thing. Following the use of the word to describe mentally handicapped persons, people adopted it as a slang word to refer to mentally disabled people. It is in this similar context that major publications continually used the word in an informal and slang nature to refer to the same thing. Still, the use of the word retarded became shortened to retard in a bid to have a slang appeal while being relatively quicker. Even when the context of the word changed, its meaning of mentally challenged people remained breaking form being a medical term to a slang word. The Observer has the first record of the word being used to refer to dummy or idiot its 1979 publication. By using the word in this context, the magazine broke away from the use of the word to mean mentally handicapped people. The paper then attached the meaning of the word as someone who is just dumb. Evidently, this meaning gained widespread popularity in the later years of the 18th century as well as the early years of the 19th century.

Today, it is common to come across people referring to others as retarded as an insult to insinuate that they are either idiots or dumb. The use of the word in this context is not only insulting to the people being referred to but also the very people who are mentally handicapped. The use of the word in that context portrays the mentally handicapped as people who should be despised in the community. Following the modification in the use of the word, there have been widespread campaigns against the continued use of the word in the English language. Consequently, the cultural changes in the use of the word retard have driven numerous propositions towards the application of the word. In future, it is anticipated that there will be limited usage of the word retard in reference to mentally handicapped persons or dummies and idiots. Even when the word maintains its application in the future societies, its application will be limited to its original meaning of delaying or hindering progress. The reasoning behind this limitation falls back to the very fact that its use is a double edged sword that insults the mentally handicapped as well as the “dummies”. Ultimately, therefore, there will be limited application of the word retard in the future.

The use of the word retard should be discontinued in its reference to both dumb and mentally challenged people. No one would love to have a word that describes a mental condition being used to insult people. It is highly derogatory and demeaning to the mentally handicapped persons as it portrays them as being despised in the society. Obviously, most people have mentally disabled relatives and they would thus not want to hear people insult others based on conditions that affect their family members. The best definition of the word retard should be maintained to describe the process of delaying or slowing down progress. The word should not be limited to mean the slowed progress in terms of mental development as the same is demeaning. The use of the word as an insult in a derogatory nature is inappropriate and unnecessary.


Works cited

Peter Griel. “Campaign 2016 Is Divisive: What It Says for the Future.” The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Sept. 2016. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.

Jadva, Vasanti, et al. “Surrogacy: the experiences of surrogate mothers.” Human Reproduction 18.10 (2003): 2196-2204.


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